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The Rhythm of Table

Sometimes I wonder if anyone has ever taken the time to count the meals in the Bible.
I mean meals that get mentioned specifically, not the assumed meals that people would have been sharing on a daily basis. There are undoubtedly dozens and dozens, if not in the hundreds of meals. So much of the Biblical story involves food, in one way, shape, or form.
From Abram and Sarai hosting guests in their home to David and his army eating the bread of the presence to Ruth and Boaz sharing a meal together to Jesus eating with outcasts to the “Last Supper” to the early church sharing meals together … and on and on. There are tables and meals throughout the entire Biblical witness. 
Week three of the “Tree of Life” worship series will focus on the table. Not the Holy Communion table specifically, although that certainly is a table that is crucial to the life of the church. Rather, we will think about the table as a connecting point, a gathering place.
The image of “the table” shapes the church as an egalitarian, open and inclusive community in which all are welcome. Each person receives enough; there is not more given to some than others. It is both a remembrance of Christ and an anticipation of the heavenly banquet, past and future baked into the present moment.
Here at Manchester UMC, our weekly community dinners on Wednesday evenings are the perfect witness to the significance of the table. Every Wednesday this fall, the Fellowship Hall has been filled with people gathering to share a meal together. It is a time of connection and fellowship, where people of all ages occupy the same space and spend time together. And an amazing team of people prepare the meals, prepare the room, and serve during the dinners. This team not only makes our meal possible, they also create an atmosphere of table fellowship and form relationships that are deep and meaningful. 
This weekend in worship, we will talk about the table together, how it forms us as followers of Jesus and nourishes our spirits as we gather under the “Tree of Life.” See you in church!


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