Tag Archives: god’s table

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins’ Pastoral Letter

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, our General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), released this pastoral letter on the issue of sexuality within the life of the church. I highly recommend watching it. I am thankful for her work as a theologian, trying to make sense of what we are to do as faithful Christians when there is disagreement and division about an issue such as this. The most important thing she does is remind us that we are called to be gracious and welcoming at God’s table, regardless of how we feel or think about particular issues.

As for the Table, we welcome all to our community. We take seriously this idea that it is God’s table that we gather around, not our own. Since we don’t own it, how do we get to decide who can or cannot come? We too are guests.

I recognize though that it can be tough to dine with folks who have bullied or hurt others in the name of God. Our table, no matter the shape or beauty, can feel broken. We aren’t perfect ambassadors. Injustice still abounds in the church and in our world. People are still excluded and hurt. We are on a journey that is not yet complete.

Jesus said this – “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

I believe that bread of life is available for everyone. I believe when we gather around the table, God feeds us regardless of our hateful ideas and our broken pasts. Bit by bit, we move along the arc of justice, slower than a lot of people would like, but forward nonetheless into God’s future where the divine dwells in harmony with all Creation. We can be a witness to wholeness in a divided world. We don’t have to be perfect to be part of the solution.

What is your response to Sharon’s message? Do you find hope or challenge in it?

Jesus built tables?

Tonight, as we gathered around a big table, sharing pizza and conversation at our regular pub night, I wondered again how many tables Jesus built in his life. Now I know, it’s never stated explicitly in the Gospel stories that Jesus was a carpenter. We assume so because most kids followed in the footsteps of their parents when choosing a line of work. If Joseph was a carpenter, Jesus at least had some experience and skills by helping his father for a good chunk of his life.

However, even if we talk in a more metaphorical and not literal sense, we recognize that Jesus was all about tables.

Eating with sinners. Engaging in dialogue in public and private places. Celebrating the holy feasts of his tradition.

Tables were a tool for his ministry, a way to share his message, a place to connect with others and extend God’s word of love and redemption.

To be more blunt about it, borrowing the words of a genius Latino pastor who spoke at a General Assembly a few years back (as told by my friend and regional minister of the Rocky Mountain region, Jose Morales), “Our Lord didn’t build walls – our Lord built tables.”

Our little community, the Table, is all about this idea. When we gather around God’s table, we recognize Christ’s presence with us and the boundaries between us becoming a little thinner. Sure, they may remain for quite a long time – boundaries of class, race, culture, finances, and education. But it is something mysterious and beautiful when, as we share the bread and the cup, we are drawn closer together by God’s doing, not by our own. It’s healing – it’s reminding us that, even though we are different, we are one. In that moment, we know that there is a little less brokenness and fragmentation in the world.

The world needs a little more unity right now.

May we all have the courage to follow after Christ, tearing down walls and building tables, casting out fear and living into wholeness, one meal at a time.



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