I shared some of these thoughts in the newsletter for the church where I work in April. The topic came to mind again in mid-May when this quotation from Henri Nouwen (in Bread for the Journey) appeared in a Sunday bulletin:
The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives. It is there that we give ourselves to each other. When we say “Take some more, let me serve you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don’t be shy, enjoy it” we say a lot more than our words express. We invite our friends to become part of our lives. We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that nurtures us. We desire communion… Strange as it may sound, the table is the place where we want to become food for each other. Every breakfast, lunch or dinner can become a time of growing communion with each other.
I have learned this in my work visiting folks in their homes. Time spent sitting at the table over a cup of tea or over lunch, becomes intimate time – the stories come out. We are no longer visitor and parishioner, but friends, stripped of our pocketbooks or briefcases and our phones down to just “us.”
Next time you stop by myI may not have anything special to offer, but I can almost always come up with something – even if it’s crackers with peanut butter! This is surely true any place you go (not the offering but the “something”). Say “yes” and enjoy the communion.