Build a Longer Table

There are many reasons people have concocted ways to keep people out. Subtly even the beginning phrase, “When you have more than you need..” suggests it is only when you have more than you need that you build a longer table.  The reality is, hospitality is not always convenient, and even when we do not feel as if we have more than we need, inviting others to our table reminds us – or astonishes us that we have enough – even more than enough.

Surely the Parable of the Good Samaritan does not pose the Samaritan as having had more than he needed.  The suffering, needs, and poverty of others is inconvenient and yet necessary in order to be humane. Jesus tells this story in answer to the question, “who is my neighbour?” and His answer bewilders those who have justified building walls of exclusion. Jesus addresses the real question: “to whom am I a neighbour?

There is no doubt that to those who have been given much, much will be required. But do those who have much recognize the ultimate source of their wealth? Alas, the rich never really know how rich they (we) are.

Nevertheless, the image above resonates with the poem by Jan Richardson: “The Table will be Wide“, and with the radical hospitality Jesus demonstrates.

During this time of world conflict may we consider ways of inviting others to our table.

As Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed:

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.

This coming Easter may we find ourselves building longer tables.


For more see “A Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, and an Atheist walk into a bar…

About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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3 Responses to Build a Longer Table

  1. Amen to this. And thank you for speaking in this way, not preachy but down to earth and heart connecting

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments. If we are wise – or rather – in God’s grace, if we are wise we may get a glimpse of the humility that allows us to “build longer tables” and enjoy the friendship that invites others into the presence of the One who made us for Himself.

      Like

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