Last weekend I was teaching Congregational Leadership Development. The lesson was about sharing our faith. In order to demonstrate this, everyone in the room read the book called “This I Believe.” This is a collection of essays from the popular NPR radio show. We then wrote our own This I Believe essays. I thought I might share mine with you. 🙂
The Table is Sacred
I believe that what happens around the table is sacred. When people come to me for a multitude of reasons, we gather around the table with a meal or with coffee. We address what the initial conversation starter was and then something sacred happens. We start telling stories. Within the hour, we have now shared an experience. We have told about intimate details. We have talked about our families, our struggles, and our deep passions. All because we have gathered at a table intentionally.
On Sunday morning, what becomes clear is that the table is sacred. No matter what happens it all culminates when we focus on the bread and wine each week and the person stands up in front and invites everyone. No longer are there divisions. It doesn’t matter who you are. All of our differences fade away and our authentic selves come forward to have a moment. Eyes meet. And an intimate moment, a holy moment is shared.
When my church community decided that we needed another worship experience, I went to a group of people yearning for something sacred, real and worshipful and I asked them, “What would it look like?” Each person responded with, “It would take place around a table.” And why is that I would ask. The responses varied but what carried through was the idea that at the table, we meet each other in shared space. We meet each other on equal grounding. We meet each other over a meal which takes time and energy to share. We discuss our lives and throughout time, things shift and all of a sudden we are community. We are community gathered to share real hurts, real loves, and everything in between.
For all of these reasons, when we come together and our layers melt away at the table, God shows up in true sacred form. I believe the table is sacred ground.