Sharing The Table of Jesus

I was directing a 20s weekend at one of our local camps.  It was the smallest number of people we have ever had, but numbers didn’t matter.  For our weekend classes we centered the discussion on how we read scripture.  A very thought provoking and dangerous conversation to have, while at the same time a much needed conversation.

On Sunday morning we gathered together for worship.  Our worship was very informal and may I say, non-traditional.  We gathered in a circle with the pulpit and table in the center symbolizing these two acts of worship are central to our life.  Our text for the morning was John 6.  Our speaker, Richard Maddeaux talked about eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ and what this means.  We discovered that as we eat and drink of Christ we are formed into a very distinct people who are called to take on Christ and the ethic of Christ.  Indeed it was a hard sermon to hear as it challenged us deeply.

As we were challenged with the words of scripture we than gathered around the table.  We had loaves of bread in baskets with wine (well, Welch’s Grape Juice) on a push cart.  Before we broke bread together we were reminded that we are to remember the body of Christ – the physical body of Christ dying on the cross but also we were to remember each other – the body of Christ – the church.  And this is where the table became life changing.

An individual in the circle said I would like to ask forgiveness from someone in this group.  He than told the story of how this individual held his head under the water at camp many years ago and since than he has held a grudge.  He asked for forgiveness for holding a grudge for so many years.  Another person spoke a word of blessing to one about to be married.  Another spoke a word of blessing to a friend who serves like Christ.  Still another spoke a word of blessing to the group as a whole encouraging them to live the faith.  Finally we all stood and walked to the push cart serving as our table, broke off a piece of bread and ate together.  After this we took the wine and shared it together symbolizing that we are forgiven and that we are a forgiving people.

Sharing the table in this way I think captured what the table of Jesus is set out to accomplish.  The table for Jesus was always a place of acceptance, forgiveness, healing, mercy, and equality.  The table for us this weekend certainly became a place of acceptance, forgiveness, healing, mercy and equality.  If we could only begin to practice this on a weekly basis I am sure our churches would be transformed in many ways and I am sure our practice of the Lord’s Supper would capture to a greater extent, the true meaning of sharing the wine and the bread of Jesus. 

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Published in: on July 9, 2007 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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