Friday, May 01, 2009

The Table: Picture, Gathering and Song


Donald Fels. At the Table, 2008.

My friend Jodi was sharing with me about a worship gathering she used to help lead at her previous church. The gathering was simply called, The Table.

This is her explanation of "The Table"


At my last church, the Children's director and I worked hard to establish something we called "The Table." The idea was to gather together as whole families for a simple meal of soup and bread. Then we shared a prayer experience together and ended the evening with communion - all intended to recognize the presence of each other and Jesus around the table. The table included lots of silence,time to just notice each other, time to just be.


The Table is something I think all of us are hungry for. How often does church really offer us the space to be, to notice and to reflect?

I'm somewhat ADD of my own accord, so focus for me can naturally be difficult, but it the time, space and place are things that I still crave and need.

When will us church folk learn that everything does NOT have to be a production. Worship should be a natural evolution out of our every day lives and experiences in community as well as looking to scripture and observing prayer/devotional practices. Church and worship should be a holistic, sincere and ongoing effort for all of us.

There is a song written and recorded by Riley Armstrong that is also called "The Table". I've always loved this song and what picture of loving community the words paint.

The table's where my father thanked the Lord for providing
The table's where he sat us down and told us to stop fighting
At the table there were tears, at the table there was laughter

The table's where my mother brought the fruits of her labors
We never did go hungry although there were times we were able
At the table love prevailed, at the table love was always there

I was always safe and warm
Sheltered from the sticks and stones
And although time passed by and we moved on
I will still pray Lord keep my family strong
Cause life out there isn't how life
Was around the table

The table's where my family shared the joys and the sorrows
Stories of the day and the goals for tommorow
At the table someone listened, at the table someone always cared

And I will never forget all the memories at the table
Holidays with relatives and coffee with the neighbors
At the table we were home, at the table we were never alone

Around the table we were one
Round the table we were fortunate to grow up
And as we ask to be excused we
never will remove it from our hearts

By: Riley Armstrong


My favorite line of the song is -
The table's where he sat us down and told us to stop fighting
At the table there were tears, at the table there was laughter


What do you think of "The Table"? Have you ever experienced a worship gathering like this? Tell me about it...

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