Some of my most precious memories are from dinners where people linger long after the last bite was taken, but the feasting on laughter and deep conversation continues. As a child we were forced to have a sit down meal together almost every night for dinner. I wasn't fond of it then, but looking back the dinner table is etched into many of my favorite childhood memories. It's where we talked about the events of the day and made plans for the future. Throughout college, grad school, and still today many of the hardest conversations have been hashed out over dinner. The kind of conversations that are necessary, but extremely uncomfortable. The kind that in the end are the most loving and result in the most good. I can go back to specific meals shared at restaurants and homes where the ridiculous line is continuously pushed and laughter is uncontrollable. Dawntoya, Summer, Lauren, and I have literally been shushed at a restaurant for laughing too loud. Sharing meals is where relationships have flourished and new levels of depth reached.
The word table is used over 90 times in scripture, and I love that God communicates with us through the imagery of the table. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 55:1-3, "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David." The beauty of the gospel is that we come with nothing, but are invited to freely feast! We have promises to cling to that we will dine with Jesus for eternity in Heaven.
A few months ago, Lindsey Brittain and I created a reading group. As we searched for a name for the group, we eventually settled on The Table. The Table consists of a book discussion and a shared meal together. So far the group has read Jane Eyre (sort of) and The Kite Runner. Everyone loved reading The Kite Runner, and we shared rich discussion about the book. Here are some pictures from the night.
Lindsey cooked a fabulous Italian dinner for us!
All the girls that came to The Table in October
Introducing Kent and I (for the 4 of you that look at my blog). He was stuck with 6 women, but he served us all diligently and had amazing questions for discussion.
This month we are reading Lovely Bones written by Alice Sebold. The Gospel intersects all facets of our lives and all truth is ours to claim, so I look forward to the next Table event to share a meal and discuss truth.