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The Way of the Table

October 18, 2022

This week in the message, “The Way of The Table,” we looked at the account of Jesus dining with ‘sinners and tax collectors’ after He called Matthew, the tax collector, to follow Him. We explore how Jesus has an open table - an inclusive table - where all are welcome. We also looked at how Jesus takes it a step further and invites others to His table. There is a difference between a table that you are welcome at ... and a table that you are invited to sit at.

Scripture makes it clear that we are to be a people who reflect the heart of God, to live the ‘way of the table’ – welcoming, inviting, and investing in relationships. Certainly, we all want to be invited into relationships, but we also want to feel welcomed into those relationships. I think, especially today, that we, as Christ Followers, ought to examine ourselves and ask ourselves just how welcoming are we? Do others – scripture uses the words “all peoples” – really feel welcomed by us? People of other nationalities? Races? Beliefs? Behaviors? Opinions? Viewpoints? Backgrounds? Socioeconomics?

Just those eight buckets present an incredibly broad and probably challenging swath of peoples to really present a welcoming, inviting “table” to. I think the easy answer is for us to quickly tell ourselves, “Yes, all those people are welcome!”

But are they? Would they tell you they felt that way? Would they mean it?

I think we, as Christ-followers,  ought to press into this and really examine ourselves and ...

-let go of our high opinion of our opinion.
-be willing to listen to different perspectives ... without giving into judging if we agree or not.
-accept different perspectives as valid ... even if we do not see it that way.
-take steps to change our language, our traditions, our behaviors that might cause others to feel unwelcome.
-be willing to change.

Not because we have to ... but because it is best, because it is most God honoring, because scripture teaches us that we will be known by our love for one another.

“ By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:35

We will not be seen as loving if we are not first seen as welcoming.

-Pastor Brian

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