I like people, but I only tend to like people I want to like.
Let me explain.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been enamored by big tables. In the home of my dreams, there is a dining room table that spans a room, so long that one side of the table has a bench. Think the Waltons or Parenthood or your average home school family. 😉
I love big families, it’s been my lifelong dream to have one, and whenever I think big family I think big table. Why is that?
There’s something special about a table, a meal, a gathering to partake and share and laugh. We come to the table before we begin our day sometimes, but almost always at the end, when we come home. We take off our shoes, we chop an onion, we light a fire, we stir a pot, we don an apron, and we bring our weary souls to the table; it is there we are fed, body and soul.
And if we are so blessed, we feed others. We pass mashed potatoes to our brother and our father, but if you are like many big families I know, you are passing that bread basket to not only your sister, but perhaps to your neighbor or your friend or someone who needs a place to stay for a while. For you see, at its core, hospitality isn’t so much about Instagram-worthy-spreads or Pinterest recipes so much as it is about welcoming the poor, the undeserving, the widow, the orphan, and the broken.
True hospitality is inviting people into your space, your life, and being ok with the fact that your mail is on the counter. It’s inviting someone who will not boost your social status or gain you anything other than the satisfaction of being kind.
Following Jesus is a lot like hospitality. It’s loving people who have nothing offer you in return. It’s not seeking those who will make you look good or support your charity or come to your event or visit your church. True Christianity is seeking out truly broken , lonely people and inviting them to your table and giving them bread, but also Bread. It’s rolling up your sleeves and calling the person who never invites you over and penciling them in for dinner and giving of your time to fill them. I think we will find we are the richest when we do this.
Maybe that’s why God likes to talk about food and tables and breaking bread together, because he knows how we think. Coming to him is a lot like coming to someone’s table. You have nothing to offer but yourself and he makes you feel more welcome than you imagined possible, and after you have eaten your fill, you find yourself so satisfied and so happy you never want to push back your chair and leave.
He placed me at his banquet table,
for everyone to see that his banner over me declares his love.–Song of Solomon 2:4
Yet I, by Your loving grace, am welcomed into Your house; I will turn my face toward Your holy place and fall on my knees in reverence before You.-Psalm 5:7