Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Table As Goodness

In our fellowship, three of the things we emphasize are goodness, beauty, and truth. In this series, I want to look at table fellowship using these three ideas. This first post will focus on the table as goodness.

In the beginning chapters of Genesis, the statement was made that it was not good for Adam to be alone. Yes, he had fellowship with his Creator, but there was something missing. God brought Eve to Adam. They were put together for fellowship, for sharing life, and for caring for creation together.

All through Scripture, the theme of the goodness of fellowship is continued. The Hebrew word hesed carries the idea of both kindness and goodness, and many times is used in the context of relationships. Many times this fellowship is around the table. Hospitality was an important part of the Israelites' faith. When God delivered them from bondage in Egypt, he began their journey with a meal. In Deuteronomy 14:22-26, the people were told to take the tithe of their crops for the year and have a family feast at the Tabernacle. If they lived too far away, they were to exchange the tithe for silver and spend it on the makings of a feast at a closer location.

In the New Testament, Jesus came eating and drinking. His first miracle took place at a wedding feast, and he spent enough time at dinner parties that his critics called him a glutton and a drunk. Jesus spoke of the feast to be celebrated in the kingdom of God. The early church was known for many things. Two of these were a devotion to fellowship and a devotion to eating together. What we call the Lord's Supper today was just a part of a full meal the church ate together. In the epistles, we are told to practice hospitality. No matter what the enemies of the early church said, they had to admit that the followers of Jesus loved others. One of the ways they loved was by welcoming others to the table.

God said that it was not good for us to be alone. It's good for us to have fellowship with others, to share our lives with others, and to help and encourage others. One of the best places to do these things is the table. Whether it's a cup of coffee and dessert, a pint in a pub, or a full meal, spending time with people around a table is a good thing.


Kansas Bob said...

Love this Fred! Not sure why but the message of the table seems to have been hijacked by those who like to stand in line for piece of bread and a sip of wine. Maybe they simply enjoy the illusion of the Eucharist?

co_heir said...

Bob, I think that may be a symptom of the larger problem. Folks don't seem to want real fellowship because it can get messy. Standing in line for bread and wine can be done without really interacting with others.

Kansas Bob said...

I so agree Fred.

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