My Kitchen Table
The kitchen table is one of the most under-utilized spiritual places in America. Let’s take a moment and think about The Table. The table is where we eat--which most of us need to do on a regular basis. The table is also a place where we stack important stuff, right? My kitchen table often has a bible, devotion guide, I-Pad, newspaper and a coffee cup all rotating places of prominence. The table is where we learn life skills like “table manners” --can’t you hear one of your parents saying, “Don’t talk with your mouth full!” There we learn to listen to others as each takes a turn to talk about their day. Hopefully we learn patience, as the food is passed around. Here patterns of like and dislike are established—“Brussel sprouts, are you kidding!?”
As we plant this new church in Bozeman, my kitchen table serves as a communion table. If I were to say, “The Last Supper”, many of you have a picture in your mind’s eye of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous 15th century painting of the Twelve with Christ eating their last Passover meal together on the night he was arrested and crucified.
My Kitchen table is now providing a beautiful space where we eat, pray, study the Bible and share our life story with new people. We just hosted probably are largest Thanksgiving gathering ever with about 17 people eating at several tables in my home. There was laughter, catch-up-conversations and many “oohs and awes” as we pounded down two turkey’s, green bean casserole, and candied sweet ‘taters among other fixin’s. I even imagined Jesus sitting in with us, smiling, laughing and asking for another splash of gravy over the Pioneer Woman’s stuffing recipe!
Many Christians I’ve met over the years often don’t feel like they have anything to offer, as they watch the church professionals and experts produce a weekly worship show, where everyone seems so eloquent when they preach, teach, baptize and pray.
I wrote this blog for all the believers out there who have a kitchen and a table. I want to challenge you to begin to practice the ancient art of hospitality. Studies have shown that the time Americans spend around a table has decreased significantly in the last 40 years—to our detriment. We are losing touch with those we love and many of us don’t even know our neighbors. I regret that I rarely had my former neighbors in my home in Sandpoint after living next to several for over 20 years. We’ve changed our ways. This year, we had a new neighbor join us for Thanksgiving—and had invited several more. He later stated, “Thanks for inviting me over so I didn’t have to spend Thanksgiving alone.” No one, I repeat, no one within walking distance of our kitchen tables should ever spend a Holiday alone. Ever.
Open your kitchen, and your heart throughout the remainder of this year to family, friends and especially to the “stranger”. After all, doesn’t scripture say, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2 RSV).
Life is Crazy, but God is still Good!
Dr. Tony L. Nelson
Church Planter-The Pursuit