One of the things that was so important in building team as our Ethiopia team was sharing the day to day experiences of life together and perhaps the greatest illustration of this was gathering around the table three times a day to eat.
At the centre of many of the spiritual lives of God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments, we find a table: the table of Passover and the table of Communion. New Testament scholar N. T. Wright captured something of this sentiment when he wrote, “When Jesus himself wanted to explain to his disciples what his forthcoming death was all about, he didn’t give them a theory, he gave them a meal.”
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Tables are one of the most important places of human connection. We’re often most fully alive when sharing a meal around a table. The table is a place of connection. It’s a place where people get to know one another. Where conversation moves from the superficial to the spiritual. Where life and experience are shared. Where a trust is developed and God meets us in our interactions.
For me in Ethiopia, I build faith filled friendships round the table and I realised that so often in our busy lives the table as a place of connection and communion is so easy to miss.
Maybe this is a bit of an abstract concept, but let me ask you:
How can you make your table a place of connection?
How can your family table be a place where your family grow in the things of God?
How can your home be a place where you invite people to share life and faith with you?
If you’re too busy, how can you build faith filled friendships?
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