"He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there. They left and found things just as Jesus had told them." (NIV) Luke 22: 12-13
Last night, we sat around the table. We celebrated my mom's 75th birthday with family and friends around a wonderful table filled with beautiful flowers, fine linens, crystal, gourmet food, etc. It was truly extraordinary and a grand celebration. There were surprises, reminiscing, laughter, jokes, fun and love. It was a great tribute to a great woman, my mom.
As we sat there together last night, my mind took me to different tables during my lifetime. There was the kitchen table growing up as kids - the table where my mom would make awesome dinners - many of which I try to recreate. There was the formal dining room table. As I am sure it is in many homes, the dining room table was saved for special occasions - parties, holiday dinners, etc. There was the small table at my Nana's apartment and the large linoleum table at my Grandma's home - each of those tables also saw many wonderful meals. I then fast forwarded to my own home. Our kitchen table is always the scene of dinners with our family. Although most meals are homemade creations, there are those days when we need to bring the meal in - the day got away from me and I wasn't able to prepare a homemade meal. Yet, the meal is enjoyed around the table. As growing up, our dining room table sees less meals than the kitchen table - reserved for the "special" dinners or when the kitchen table just doesn't seat enough for all who will be enjoying a meal.
The table, throughout my life, has always been the center of our family. Major decisions, discussions, and dilemmas were, and are, solved at the table. It may be where we eat our meals, but it has also been how we got through life. Family meetings are typically held around the table. The table has seen many tears as well as much laughter. I see the table as strength - the legs of the table, the table top - all of it bearing the weight of our family. No matter where the table is, no matter which room it is in or whether it is in our home or at a restaurant, the table is strength. The weight of our family could be happiness or sadness. It could be distraught or jubilation. Yet, the table is where our family comes together. It has throughout my life - and it did last night!
The most IMPORTANT table, though, was the table that saw our Lord the night of the Last Supper. THAT table saw true strength. THAT table saw true courage. THAT table saw distraught men. THAT table saw incredible love. THAT table saw our Lord washing his disciples' feet. It saw our Lord breaking bread. It saw our Lord sharing wine. It saw OUR Lord giving us an incredible gift - back then and today. It saw Jesus giving us Holy Communion. THAT table is the table all of us can model our own tables after. I truly never thought about the tables we eat at every day the way I saw tables last night - with reflection, with honor, with love, with hope.
Jesus is at each of our tables every day. He is there to provide us strength, courage, and love. As long as we invite Him to sit with us, He will be there for us. This morning, as I was at Jesus' table celebrating Holy Communion, I once again thought about all the tables I have dined at. The best table of all truly is Jesus' table. He fills me up with the healthiest food I could ever need - food for my soul. I ask you, as you sit down to dinner today - whether it is with many family members or by yourself, ask Jesus to sit at the table with you. He will do so gladly, and I guarantee you, you will be filled to the brim with an everlasting strength and love that only Jesus can give us. May your table always have the most special member of your family present - Jesus!!