When you hear the words “lifegiving table” what comes to your mind? Is it the food that is necessary to sustain life? The fellowship and fun that comes at a family table? The communion table where we celebrate eternal life? So many different images come to mind but I think it is important to know that a “lifegiving table” can be a big fancy meal or a simple but nourishing meal. It can be a large family or two friends around a table. You can have a “lifegiving table” at a large dining room table or on a blanket in the park. As I listened to Sally Clarkson speak last week she mentioned that she had figured out that over the course of 18 years at three meals a day we will feed our children over 19,000 meals. This really stuck with me as I thought about the impact that our time together and our table could have on our family and those that we invite to the table.
“All table-talk discussions, love given, and beauty cultivated at our table are for the purpose of making real our Savior and calling those who share life with us to serve Him their whole lives.” (Sally Clarkson, pg. 1 The Lifegiving Table)
Sometimes making meals three times a day (at least since mine tend to want snacks and 2nd breakfast) can be exhausting and monotonous. However, when I view it from the perspective of serving my family and pointing them to Jesus it gives me new vigor in the process. Each meal is an opportunity to “feast” with my family, to serve them, and to point them to Jesus. There are so many stories in the Bible that revolve around the table. The Passover meal which leads to the communion table, Jesus feeding the 5,000, the various Jewish feasts and celebrations are but a few examples. We can see from those examples as well as examples from our daily lives that eating together around the table nourishes not only the body but the soul as well.
Chapter two was written by Sally’s husband Clay and spends a great deal of time talking about the Biblical foundations of the “lifegiving table” to prepare us for the practical applications shared in later chapters. In this chapter he expounds upon the five key elements: gather, bless, eat, share, and serve. Clay shares wonderful examples of Jesus and how he served His disciples and those that were following Him. One of my favorite quotes from that chapter is, “A huge element of table discipleship is modeling and teaching what it means to be a servant”. The example that Jesus provided in washing his disciples feet prior to his arrest and crucifixion is a prime example of how he showed servant leadership and led by example.
I could talk for pages about these chapters but instead I’ll leave you with one final thought and encourage you to read them for yourselves. I can’t do justice to the wonderful ideas written and shared within the pages. In the last section of chapter two we are encouraged to not only get food on the table but get the table in us. What does that mean to you? How can you apply that to your situation?
I would love to hear your thoughts on these two chapters. Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on the book so far or one thing you can implement in your home this week to bring you closer to a “lifegiving table”. If you have not yet gotten this book I encourage you to do so. You can find the book here or you can order it from Audible if you prefer listening to the book. If you would like to join in our online book study for more discussion please join us here.
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