Long long ago, decades ago…when Craig and I first got married 🤣, we used to spend many Sunday lunches with his family. It was traumatic for me.
The robust conversations (read: full on shouting matches) disturbed me a lot! Opinions were aired. Provocative statements were made. Reactions were fierce and loud. It felt like a war was brewing….every time.
Yet - every time….by dessert everyone was laughing with each other. No relationships were damaged. The food was consumed and we were all still at the table.
I was often shell-shocked. My upbringing had been so different.
What I realised was that the Clark relationships were deep and strong. The family was in their ‘safe’ place around the table. The love was unconditional - differing views and opinions never divided them. It made them bigger thinkers and provided a platform to give voice to what they felt and thought about matters. I learnt many things around that table.
“Jesus spent a lot of time around the dinner table. Many of His most frequently quoted messages and standout stories happened while sharing a meal with others. His company around the table was a remarkably diverse cast.
He shared meals with outcasts.
He spent time with the self-righteous religious elite.
He cared for people who had broken every rule and were seen as unclean.
He dined at the tables of the wealthy men whose riches were won with lies and corruption. Some of those men gave up comfortable lifestyles to follow him.
He crossed racial boundaries to the shock of many around him.
He invited everyone to the table.
It was radical at the time. No one was that inclusive. The religious do-gooders began to whisper behind his back. They called him a friend of sinners. It was supposed to be an insult, but Jesus wore it proudly. He was a friend to everyone. And what do friends do? They eat dinner together and share in each other’s lives.
Strangers eating together and becoming friends.
What a simple concept, and yet, we’re pretty sure it would turn our own modern world upside down the same way Jesus turned His around 2,000 years ago.
We see division and broken relationships everywhere. We see judgment and hypocrisy on the rise. We see people who claim to be followers of Jesus taking His open invite and turning it into an exclusive club.
Jesus was not exclusive. He was radically inclusive.
What would our world look like if that were the norm? If strangers became friends over the dinner table as they did around Jesus?”
(Excerpt from He Gets Us campaign)
I just love this.
I think one day in heaven, I just want to sit at Jesus’ table.
Imagine the conversations. Imagine the laughter, the tears, the robust discussions. The companionship.The BELONGING. Our safe place.
Love you all.
Scripture References: Mark 2:13-17, Luke 19:1-10, Matthew 9:36-38, Luke 5:31-32