In all likelihood, a table was set for you this week. If you traveled to family or friends for the Thanksgiving holiday someone prepared a place for you, or even if you hosted – as we did – others brought. Someway, somehow, a place was made for you.
The fact that Thanksgiving focuses on a table makes it our most intimate holiday. The day is not about a tree, heart, a flag, or even a cross – it is about a table. And even though football and Black Friday press in, the table does not budge because it simply holds a power nothing else can touch. At its heart, our Day of Thanks is about remembering a simple act of grace. Anyone who sets a table for another has had a table set for them…our Day is about more than gratitude. It is about continuing the practice of grace.
As with most celebrations some details will be lost to time. In our house, this was the year that the rolls did not rise. It was the year that the ‘kids’ table in reality was filled with amazing young adults, and the table only kept the name because of the denial of the adults. It was the year, selfishly, I added smoked brisket and salmon in addition to the turkey – because I don’t really care for the bird and one day we will have a turkey-free Thanksgiving – a great culinary leap forward.
All of this, however, will be forgotten. I will not remember that the rolls did not rise. One memory, however, will remain. A table was set, places were made, invitations were extended and accepted, and all of this was celebrated. Grace was offered and received and by this combination all are blessed.
Within Christianity, it is easy to forget the table-centered foundation of our faith. As Christians we have lifted the cross as our central symbol. Our worship and sacraments have become disconnected from a meal. A table, a place, however, has been there from the beginning.
One of our favorite Psalms tells us ; God prepares a table for me…
Jesus told his disciples – Go into the city to find a place to celebrate the Passover – a table-centered meal.
As we prepare to close one year and begin another perhaps this is the truth our faith is attempting to teach – blessing occurs when setting a table. If we set a place for our family, friends, a stranger, or even an enemy we will then become a people who are blessed.
(thank you for reading, if you found Jesus in this please comment and share)