My cousin has a 20-foot-long dining room table. That table is amazing. At Christmas we snowshoed all around her farm and then went inside to eat the three full pots of soup she had prepared. We filled that table up.
In February I attended a pastor’s conference in Iringa, Tanzania. At the end of the conference we sat around a big table together – Africans and Minnesotans. We celebrated. We ate. We sang. We danced the chicken dance.
In March my niece turned 11. She made her own cake. We filled up the dining room table at my brother’s house with so much love for her and for each other because we knew that gatherings like this were about to be put on hold for a time.
I want to sit at a big table full of people again.
I want to celebrate with food and laughter and storytelling.
I want to gather for worship, and weddings, and even funerals.
I also want people to be safe and healthy. I want my family, friends and neighbors to survive 2020. I only want to gather if all can come to the table.
This is the tension. I have a deep desire for two things that can’t happen at the same time. We’re feeling that tension in all sorts of ways this year.
This is what our worship on Sunday will be about: the tension of the Christian faith.
Tune in on Sunday and you’ll hear and sing a favorite song, “Come To The Table.” I’ll be taking you on a little field trip to my kitchen. And you’ll hear the promise that whatever the tension, the stress, the worry, the disappointment – the God who loves you has a place for you at the banquet table.