A happy holiday memory from my younger days. The day before Thanksgiving I would be doing something important – playing football with the neighborhood gang, watching the same rerun of “Gilligan’s Island” for the 47th time, reading Thucydides’ “History of the Peloponnesian War,” something like that – when my Dad would call for me. “I need your help,” he would say. And reluctantly leaving the ballgame, Gilligan and the Skipper, or the ancient Athenians, I would follow him into the dining room. We would pull the dining room table apart, place two leaves into the center, and push it back together.
We extended the table. It meant company was coming. It meant that family would gather. It meant a feast was being prepared. As I said, a happy holiday memory from my younger days.
The good news is that God does that all the time – adds leaves to the dining room table. God just keeps making more and more room, prepares more and more of a feast, extends the table to anyone who shows up hungry for righteousness as a main course and desiring grace as dessert. There is always room at God’s table for one more, always enough soup in the pot, always more than enough to go around.
Family is created at God’s banquet table and it is often not the family that we think it should be. People gather around God’s table – not because they look the same or think the same or vote the same or live in the same neighborhoods. People gather around the table because God has invited and welcomed us all. Regardless.
This Sunday, as we continue to gather around “The Table,” we will have family conversation about “Extending the Table.” We’ll hear a story from Luke (Luke 14:12-24) where Jesus suggests the guest list and we’ll consider what that might look like if we take it seriously. We’ll hear God call us away from whatever important thing we’re doing and bring our commitment cards as a sign of adding leaves to the table of grace that God sets in this place.
Hope to see you Sunday at the family table.
Grace and peace.