Never underestimate the peace that accompanies a crowded kitchen table.
The overflowing table sat in a room that was designed for four people. And yet, thirteen of my new friends sat shoulder to shoulder and waited for me to join them. I remember so much about that room: the arrangement of cider bottles on the damaged wooden table, the candles, the birthday cards, the soft pretzels, and the homemade strudel.
Most of all, I remember the words that came out of my mouth when I saw the scene before me: “This is not real. This is absolutely crazy.”
None of my “friends” at the table knew about each other’s stories, but we all knew the solitude of studying in a foreign country. That night, we may not have broken into life-long relationships, but we broke bread. The food on that crowded, Austrian table was an afterthought; we were there for the communion.
It is not revolutionary that Jesus ate with His disciples. Anyone can host a dinner party. Rather, it is revolutionary that He spent his life dining with those who were refused love—the marginalized, the tax-collectors, the lepers, the prostitutes. Jesus’ invitation to dine was extended to so many that there was no room to sit at his table. Togetherness was the true feast.
It is all too easy to grow comfortable in a limited guest list. Friends, family, a few coworkers and that’s it. But you and I are called to invest in a bigger table. We are invited to extend togetherness, even when it may be considered “crazy.”
God’s call for our hospitality looks different in this time of quarantine, but the call did not vanish entirely. It merely manifests in new ways. Instead of a family dinner, perhaps communion is a socially distant picnic with a struggling neighbor. Instead of a romantic meal, maybe a call with an elderly relative builds belonging.
Who are the forgotten dinner guests in our lives? How can we invite them to dine?
Sister, I pray that our tables (or screens!) host friends and strangers alike and that community is the main course. May they mirror the splendor of the banquet God has prepared for us in Heaven.Togetherness was the true feast. // Abby Fafinski Click To Tweet