Today’s Word: “Table” as in… moving away from “Us-vs-Them-and-We-vs-They” creates room at the table.
Our society is awkwardly, if not painfully splintered. The work for all who long to make a difference in the world in order to make a different world altogether, is to create a place at the table for everyone. This is not wishful, naïve thinking. There is precedence. Psalm 23:5-6 describes a feast that isn’t as insulated as our imaginations lead us to believe.
I grew up with the idea that the “table prepared for me in the presence of my enemies” was set for me and only me. I even read it with a bit of an attitude.
You know what I mean.
But I got to thinking, what if “my enemies” are thinking the same thing? What if I’m their enemy? What if the “table prepared for me in the presence of my enemies” is a table for everyone, prepared for everyone the midst of everyone? What if, in the act of sitting together, the whole idea of enemies evaporates in the magnitude of the grace that invites us?
I imagine an endless table. Everyone is looking around and thinking the same thing: “How did they get in here? Who invited them?”
Then a voice begins to speak:
“Welcome, everyone.” I know you’re all thinking the same thing: “How did ‘they’ get in here? Who invited ‘them’?” I did because a party just isn’t a party unless everyone is invited. Once we’re all at the table we’re no longer enemies because the table creates friendship. And when you’re my friends, it’s impossible to have enemies. I’m honoring you by anointing your heads with oil, so just watch how your cup overflows with blessing. My goodness and my unfailing love for every one of you will help you shift your thinking from “Us-vs-Them-and-We-vs-They” to everyone together.”
Left on our own, we’ll always be the center of our own universe. “Me” will be the most important word we know. But when we gather together and make room for everyone, the table expands and the feast continues.