Back in the day when I was still serving as the pastor of a church, I remember the privilege I had to share a meal with a very sweet lady, Lois Inzetta, in the Friend’s Home dinning room. I sat at a table with some of her new friends. As we ate and talked she relayed to me the story of how it was at the home and what she had observed.
Above the muffled conversation, there is a gentle clattering of rolling carts and ice in glasses. It is lunchtime, and she says she is grateful for this time of fellowship and food.
Once strangers, now friends, we sit around the table, bringing different tastes acquired over decades of life experiences. Too much pepper. Not enough. Too sweet. Too sour. Just right.
Around the table, we are community, where relationships are more important than food. It is here that we exchange bragging rights about our grandchildren, their new job or a nephew’s latest award. Here we share laughter and stories, aches and pains.
Some of us wear these oversized bibs around our necks, a practical solution to spills and such. We are Methodist, Baptist, Quakers, Catholics and evangelicals, and some have rarely darkened the doors of a church. But around the table, no one is impressed by denominational platitudes. We are simply sojourners together through this life. The table is a place of connectedness where someone notices and cares if you are not there.
I pray, O God, you have made us a people who crave relationship. You have made us hungry for love and respect, no matter our age. And you have given us a holy appetite for you. Fill us up Lord, fill us up. Amen.