Do I harp on tables here? I think I may, but God is teaching me so much through tables and gathering. He’s always got an object lesson for me (trees, circles, etc) and for the past two years.. it’s been around the table.
I listened to Beth Moore’s “The Table and the Cup” from Passion 2013 while I was in the Philippines. I’m sure I’ve told the story, but a friend sent me the recording because it reminded her of me. “You’ll love this” she said.
She was right.
I remember listening to it on my iPod late in the night when I couldn’t sleep on the bottom bunk in a room of at least eight girls and wanting so much to wake them all up just to tell them, make them listen. It spoke powerfully to me because Passover has held a sacred holiness all my life. There’s just a different atmosphere, a breath held, until that resurrection time. Having a seder meal often leaves me with a heavy heart at the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice and His commission to us, but full of celebration at the freedom His sacrifice brings.
While abroad, the significance of tables in our lives became so apparent. You can read more about that here: Tables & Couches
In the past two years God has continually pressed this idea of gathering to the forefront of my mind, opening my eyes and heart during times when I am gathered around a table with people, sharing in a certain vulnerability and life that only happens when you break bread together.
While in Uganda last month, those living at the Village and our team came together on Sunday for a feast of sorts, with many countries, histories, cultures, and lives represented. When I was told we were having this little get together, my heart practically burst with joy and excitement (and I may have cried – no shame). Nothing fills me like this kind of fellowship. Acts 2:46 says, “they broke bread and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” – broke bread, like Passover, which is such a holy thing. To pull tables into the courtyard and fill them with pots and plates of all different sizes and shapes and join with brothers and sisters for just a little while in one circle was like breathing. It feels right. It feels perfect, like for one moment the Church is knit so close. The Spirit is communing in us as we commune together.
This week I started Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted and was floored today when she started in on the Passover in true JH fashion – holding nothing back. “This is my body broken and poured out for you….As often as you do this, do it in remembrance of me” Jesus said.
As often as we are broken and poured out for other people, remember Him.
When Jesus calls us to serve, is it not exactly what Isaiah 58 says?
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?
People quote “go into all nations and make disciples” all the time, but we never know what that looks like…or we thought we didn’t, but it was right in front of us at every meal, at every Good Friday concert and Easter sunrise service.
To be broken and poured out for others.
We can’t be Christ to others if we’re constantly seeking success by society’s standards or the next best thing in life. We serve others by being broken and poured out. Jen says later in the same portion of her book that for every time you or I have felt filled or nourished by someone else, it has come with brokenness – someone else has to be broken and poured out for you and I to be fed.
We, in turn, must be broken and poured out for others.