Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tom, October, 2021

posted Sep 29, 2021, 6:04 PM by Lois Kerchner

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On October 3 we will celebrate World Communion with Christians all around the world from all kinds of denominations.

I am drawn to contemplate the one piece of furniture that is the most essential piece in any dwelling, be it in one’s home or the church, at least in my opinion: the table.

For me, it is the centerpiece of a home, the place of gathering, of feasting, of long conversations. It’s a place of daily communion that transpires when family and friends pull up a chair and sit across from one another, break bread, and share their lives.

I think back to all the tables I have sat around and still do, like the one in my late mother’s house. My family grew up around this table.  The varnish has worn off in places, and my mother had leaf inserts that weren’t meant for the table, that slip and slide out of place, so you had to be very careful where you placed your glass. But she needed her table to grow to accommodate the large number of people who would gather round.

What is it about the table? For one thing it gives us space apart from one another to remain individuals, and yet, it draws us ever closer to one another through storytelling, through laughter, through sharing burdens. It’s a level playing field both visually, literally and metaphorically.

I have many memories around my mother’s table, of holiday feasts, or sitting long after everyone else was excused because I refused to eat my peas, and of my brother pitching a glass of milk over my head when I teased him about a girlfriend.

Later in life, many of my friends came to that table and discussed everything under the sun.   I remember sitting around my mother’s table weeping after my father died and we were preparing his funeral. And joyous times like sharing breakfast after having a surprise 80th birthday party for my mother. So many memories!

My mother had the gift of hospitality. I will be eternally grateful that I can say yes to this question in the home I grew up in. Her arms are always open wide. Somehow or other, God has always provided enough food to go around. Every meal has been a Lord’s supper—cooked and baked with gratitude, served with love, and for those who have had the privilege of being served around that table they have been given sustenance to go forth into the world and bring the gospel of generous grace to others because in one small way, they experienced that kind of generosity around her aging table, whose joints squeak and whose surface is scratched.

As we come together to celebrate World Communion may we envision our brothers and sisters in Christ from around the globe sitting at all kinds of tables and be awakened to their plights as they continue on their faith journey through many diverse wildernesses. And may each one of us see our own tables, both in church and in our homes, as the Lord’s, where we willingly nourish one another body and soul.

The bell is ringing.   Dinner is ready!

Pastor Tom