It’s been a week already since my last post, not by design, but by the constraints of time. The past weekend is a blur of faces & places.
We had a great surprise last week. A friend from the church in Perm, Russia who is currently a student in Adventures in Missions was in Albany visiting their AIM team. We had them (Tyson & Dee) and Masha and a couple of families from the Troy congregation over for dinner Thursday night. It was great to see someone from the church in Perm. It is so hard to believe that it’s been 8.5 years since we were there. To this day, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could go back and spend time with that wonderful church. A large part of my heart is still there.
Friday we hosted a Bible study in our home.
Saturday the Troy church had a chili cookoff at the Wilders’. That was a good time, too. If I recall correctly, the person:chili ratio was 2:1. Not bad. They were all good and best of all–no heartburn or other digestive challenges ensued. That’s always a plus!
Some friends of ours are foster parents and one of their children had heart surgery (twice) last week. One of the other foster children is Emma’s age so we had her over. The two of them get to play together every week or two, but this was most of the day, and it was a blast. They were way too cute together. I can’t explain it, and I’m sure other parents identify, but it just makes you so proud to see your child making friends and interacting. It’s like we were created for friendship, huh?
I know we joke about how the lines between eating & fellowship are too often blurred, but the truth is that there are special dynamics that only happen when we break bread together. Whether it is the family meal or the church family meal, good things happen at the table. Anyone who’s spent time with me (right Mike?) knows that I value time at the table with friends to the point that getting up from the table rarely happens quickly. Long after the food is gone, the check has come and the coffee is cold, the fellowship continues. That’s because the food was really secondary, the relationship primary. I don’t think this is just a church thing. I believe it’s a God thing, a part of our being made in His image.
From the earliest moments of Israel’s history to the close of the NT writings and beyond, time at the table with fellow pilgrims on this earth has been at the center of God’s work. Look at Jesus’ ministry. More than you see him flipping tables, you see him at tables…eating, drinking, talking, listening, teaching, healing, ministering–all at the table. And not just at “The Lord’s Table”. Much has been said and written lately about the fellowship we find at the Table of Communion, but not much is said about the Table of Fellowship. You know, the one in your kitchen and/or in your dining room (or at Friendly’s or Red Robin). That table, too, is integral to the work of God on earth. It is there that we let down our guard and fellowship blossoms into friendship that grows into deep brotherhood.
This week, take an opportunity to have someone into your home, or go to Subway with a friend. Break bread. Break down barriers. Enjoy the blessing of God at the table.