This summer I decided to once again attempt a patio garden. It has gone well, except for that one time I was away for a week and the person who was taking care of my newly planted plants got sick. By the time I got home, the beautiful yellow and white flowers that had center stage on the patio were gone—except for the ornamental grass that was at the middle. So I kept watering it. I cut back the dead stuff and just kept watering it all because there was some life there in the grass. I was amazed to see the flowers come back two weeks later! It was an explosion of little white flowers all over again. I was elated! A similar thing happened to my poor cilantro plant that ended up going to seed and blowing away—except that some of the seed fell in the soil and because I kept watering what was there I now have a new little cilantro plant growing. The same thing with the dill and catnip! I don’t think I will ever give up on any plant that seems dead again! This certainly got me thinking about our God, who doesn’t give up on us. Our God who provides us with the things we need to sustain us: water, food and community. There have been times in my life that have felt dry, like there was no life in me. Yet God is faithful to God’s promises and when I least expect it, there is new growth. What I have discovered is that during those periods, I need the people of God and the grace I depend on from God the most. The waters of baptism, the food of the table, the community of the faithful are what just keep watering me until the new growth appears.
This is what Come To The Table is all about this year: being fed and feeding others. We will be talking about how we are fed at our kitchen table, often the first place we learn about God, ourselves and those closest to us. We hear the stories of our ancestors, we laugh and we cry and we learn about community. We will be helping those who gather at the kitchen table, in whatever way that looks like for you, to see that home is church too, that grace is there too, that our souls are fed just as much as our bodies. We will be talking about the invitation we receive at the altar table, the place where all our kitchen tables come together. Families are invited to set the table, tablecloths instead of paraments adorn our altar, we will be reminded again and again of the power of the cross, where the broken are made whole. Already, our artists have been busy helping us to understand this message with all our senses. Here we meet community and we hear the stories of our ancestors and allow the word of God to shape our lives as a whole. Who will we be as the body of Christ? Small groups are forming to help us all feel connected to each other. Bible studies and action teams are working to strengthen our faith and send us out to serve. A lot happens around the table of God. We will be talking about how we feed others at the mission table, that place where we listen to our neighbors and then work to fill their needs. Where we seek out the places where God is working to bring light to darkness. Where we extend the invitation to others to Come to the Table.
Throughout this year, you can expect for the Spirit to be working in you to deepen your faith at any of the tables you find yourself at. You can expect that the Word of God is going to be calling you to extend the invitation to others. You can expect that the Creator God will extend to you the invitation to be loved and to love. So, with eyes and hearts open to what God has in store for us, Come to the Table.