Come to the table.
Every week when the staff gathers for our regular meeting, we begin our time together with some kind of meditation or reflection. Each one of us is responsible for a different week of the month, and we bring in scripture passages, songs, prayers, and various other things. This week, Nancy brought us a song to listen to called "Come to the Table." I don't know anything about the band - I've never heard of them. A quick search of the Sidewalk Prophets turns up a number of songs I haven't heard and what looks like a very popular tour schedule. So, I can't speak to them as a group or what they believe necessarily. But I will say that I thought this song was a beautiful thing for us to listen to this week - and I wanted to share it with you.
This week, in various ways, we will come to many different tables with families and friends. I hope that you'll be sitting at a table with someone you care for and who cares for you. Thanksgiving begins the holiday season, sending us in a rush through Advent and towards Christmas. For many, it will be a joyful week full of good food and good people. For others, it may be a little more bittersweet - or even quite sad - as we all come through a season of profound loss and challenge. Some of us are hurting more than others. And yet, this tradition of coming to the table will likely mark most of our weeks. And even in the midst of challenge, that can be a wonderful thing. I hope that as you gather, whatever form that takes, you'll be mindful of God's presence in your midst - as every table where there is love is God's table.
As Christians, we know something about coming to the table. We come to the Table every week to receive the Sacrament. When we do that, we receive grace upon grace, forgiveness, a sense of belonging, a sense of wholeness, among a great many other important things. We all come to that Table, to the Altar, just as we are. As the song says: a motley crew of misfits, all of us bringing our own stories, ideas, baggage, victories, wounds, and dreams. And yet, as we receive together, God binds us up - making us at that Table, one people. One tribe. One Body. All of us knit up into something greater than we can be on our own. I love that about what God does and I love the special way we do that at St. Matt's.
As we listened to and then reflected on this song this week, I was reminded about how special this community is. How hard we work to make everyone welcome. How genuine and deep that welcome is. I believe God delights when you come to our Table - and I believe God delights in us - when we gather around it together. So, give a listen to this song if you feel so moved. Give thanks for all the blessings of your life and for the promise of God that there is always a place for you. Give thanks for the promise of this community that you can come as you are, that you are welcome here. And then come to the Table on Sunday as we enter into the season of Advent and prepare for Christmas. There's so much ahead of us in the next few weeks. And it won't be the same without you. No matter how long it's been, there's a place for you - you just need to come to the Table.
I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. May you know God's love when you gather around the table. As we begin this new church year together, may we commit ourselves to the work Jesus calls us to, being fed by our journey to the Table. Happy Thanksgiving! God loves you, and so do I.
Tags: Welcome from the Rector