Come to the Table

Come to the Table

Greetings friends!

Sunday our lectionary readings focused on seeking and pursuing—both God seeking us and our seeking of God. We learned that he seeks and invites us into a relationship with him “just as we are” in all of our goodness, weirdness, and not despite of, but because of, our weaknesses. He invites us to be his children, and to be a part of his very own kingdom. For some of us, that offer is hard to imagine. We focus on our flaws, mistakes, and sins. Then we wonder, “How can I be accepted?” Others of us accept that we are invited, but we focus on how good and tidy our self-sufficient lives have been, and view that as proof, that we are worthy. Romans 3 sheds light on the fact that neither of these viewpoints is accurate because we have all “proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us”. Therefore, God has set things right for us in Christ Jesus. “This is a pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”

The Table of God – the altar is a physical representation of our acceptance into God’s family. This is where we put our hands up and out to receive the all-inclusive-love-feast God has prepared for us in Christ. We have the opportunity to reject all that divides God’s children by leaning into loving all who kneel beside us. Then as we turn and walk back into the world, we carry with us Christ’s light and love for a rejected and divided humanity.

Isn’t this incredible news?
Isn’t this humbling?
Praise God for this good news!

I challenged you on Sunday, to do 2 things this week. May I be so bold as to add 1 more?

Out of God’s great love and acceptance for each of us here are three possible ways to respond:

First, find a quiet place, still yourself, and close your eyes to avoid distractions. Allow yourself to step into a contemplative mindset and be curious about God meeting you in this moment. Spend time thanking God for his great love for you, for accepting you and adopting you as his child—calling you his beloved.

Now imagine that God is leading you to his table-
What does God say to you?
What does the table look like?
What is being served?
Who is sitting with you, or are you alone?
What are you hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling while you are there?
Is God asking anything of you?
Now, just spend some time sitting in God’s lavish expression of pure and holy love for you.

Second, ask the Spirit whom you might invite this week to your own table at home. Is doesn’t matter who they are or where you know them from. This is an opportunity to send the love of Christ out into the world. Who would you like to express acceptance and love for? It doesn’t have to be extravagant or well planned. Perhaps even a simple invitation to have coffee is an appropriate expression this week. You are simply setting a place for another at your table, out of gratitude and love for Christ who has set a place at his table for you.

Third, Stan Thomas-Rose blessed us with a moving song on Sunday. I am including the lyrics below to Come to the Table and hope that you will follow the link below and listen to it again. Why not make this a meditation as you let Stan’s passionate voice bring these beautiful and truthful lyrics to life.

May the truth of God’s full love and acceptance for you, move you to a fuller love and acceptance of all of his children, breaking down any dividing walls and giving us brave arms to reach out in forgiveness and reconciliation.

Summer Green

**The readings from Sunday are included here in case you want to take a deeper dive into them. I referenced in my sermon that I enjoyed both the New Revised Standard Version and The Message translations of these scriptures, perhaps you will too. Isaiah 65:1-9, Psalm 22:18-27, Galatians 3:23-29 and Luke 8:26-39

Link to Stan singing Come to the Table. Skip to the 1:00 hour mark.

Come to the Table by Ben Mcdonald. Ben Glover and Dave Frey

We all start on the outside
The outside looking in
This is where grace begins
We were hungry we were thirsty
With nothing left to give
Oh the shape that we were in
Just when all hope seemed lost
Love opened the door for us
He said come to the table
Come join the sinners who have been redeemed
Take your place beside the Savior
Sit down and be set free
Come to the table
Come meet this mightly crew of misfits
These liars and these thieves
There’s no one unwelcome here
That sin and shame that you brought with you
You can leave it at the door
And let mercy draw you near
So, come to the table
Come join the sinners who have been redeemed
Take your place beside the Savior
Sit down and be set free
Come to the table
Come to the table
To the thief and to the doubter
To the hero and the coward
To the prisoner and the soldier
To the young and to the older
All who hunger all who thirst
All the last and all the first
All the paupers and the princess
All who fail, you’ve been forgiven
All who dream and all who suffer
All who loved and lost another
All the chained and all the free
All who follow all who lead
Anyone who’s been let down
All the lost you have been found
All who have been labeled right or wrong
To everyone who hears this song
Come to the table
Come join the sinners you have been redeemed
Take your place beside the Savior
Sit down and be set free
Sit down and be set free
Come to the table
Come to the table
Sit down and be set free
Come to the table