If you haven’t read Part 1 of my previous Blog about the Table, make sure you check it out here.
I encouraged us all to understand the significance of meal time and the importance of the Table for three things: Relaxation, Family, and Friend time.
Here are three more for you to chew on … (pardon the pun!)
4. THE TABLE – A PLACE OF INCLUSION
Jesus travelled with the 12 disciples for over 3 years. He would have eaten with them virtually every day. But Jesus was next level. He didn’t limit his Table time to His immediate circle!
Jesus participated in some very surprising dinner parties. He invited himself to Tax Collector Zaccheus’ house, which would have been controversial; he ate at the table of Pharisees, who often opposed him; he ate at Simon the Lepers house, would you? He certainly wasn’t practising social distancing that night and Jesus even included Judas, his betrayer, at the Last Supper.
But my favourite insight into a night out with Jesus is described by Luke…
Matthew wanted to throw a banquet to honour Jesus. So he invited Jesus to his home for dinner, along with many tax collectors and other notable sinners. While they were all sitting together at the table, the Jewish religious leaders and experts of the law complained to Jesus’ disciples, “Why would you defile yourselves by eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners? Doesn’t Jesus know it’s wrong to do that?” Luke 5:29 TPT
It’s only wrong to do that if you’re proud or a prude!
I love that Jesus ate with those who others would not eat with. We can’t open our door to a mixed group of people right now, but we can open our heart to make inclusivity one of our life values.
Get online and chat to people. Not only the inner circle of your world, but organise a time with people to get together over a drink or a snack online. Chat, connect, nibble and sip together.
Who can you surprise? Who is not on your speed dial list that would be pleasantly surprised by a FaceTime chat, maybe around mealtime or coffee time? DO IT!
5. THE TABLE – A PLACE FOR THE WORD
Ps Bobbie, in one of her recent messages referenced a conversation between Bishop TD Jakes and Ps Joseph Prince around the meal table at a Hillsong Conference. Among so much gold being shared between them both, the Bishop made an insightful observation about the lack of
Table-talk about the Word of God. He said around the family Table is where the Word needs to be part of our normal every day conversation, not reserved for the pulpit alone.
He wasn’t talking about having a prepared Bible Study (although this is cool if all your Family participants are hungry for it), but rather that we can all bring the truth and awe of God’s Word into our everyday Table conversation.
We don’t need a pulpit, we need an overflow of godly conversation.
What have I heard while watching Church Online this week that is worthy of comment and conversation at my Table? In a natural way, let the ones at your table know. Just DO IT!
6. THE TABLE – WHERE THE FUTURE IS IN OUR CONVERSATION
Jesus spoke about the Future around the Table. He not only foretold the betrayal of Judas and the denial of Peter but he spoke the truths of the Kingdom around the Dinner Table.
Matthew 26, Mark 14 and Luke 22 carry the Last Supper narratives and the teaching Jesus gave particularly on ‘communion’, but look again and you’ll notice he was speaking into the future. It’s good to look back and reminisce, just don’t live there. Talk as couples, talk to your kids and your friends about the future. It’s fun to talk about plans for future holidays and bucket list things to do, but also chat about one another’s dreams and aspirations and definitely speak into your kids futures through words of encouragement and faith.
Imagine being able to sit at a Table with Jesus while He is speaking into the world’s future . Now imagine He was speaking specifically to you and into your family’s future! How good would that be! Well guess what? …you can always invite him to be in your meal conversations! We’ve certainly had many memorable God Moments around our table over the years. I pray you will too in this season.
If you could speak into the future of your kids and grandkids, your marriage, your hopes and dreams what would you say? Do you dare to give voice to those hopes and dreams? DO IT!
PS. I hope you’ve enjoyed these two Blogs about ‘The Table’.
My prayer for you is that in this season you set some values and practices in place that will help you, your family and friends and every guest who sits at your table for many years to come.