At the Table

Sep 28
by Blair Odney
At the Table
 

Have a look at Galations 3:23-29... we'll be exploring it a wee bit on Sunday. 

I write from Vernon this morning, still laughing about our dinner last night.  There were just four of us: my wife, our sons and me; the same four who who used to camp in a tent-trailer, who sang together at a friend's wedding. The four us still laugh at the time when I decided to pull a fifth wheel trailer all throughout downtown Ottawa looking for 24 Sussex Drive. I didn't know it was a one-way, going the other way. I hit one of those cement garbage bins and for the rest of the five week adventure across the country, the awning only worked when I wired the post to the trailer with a coat hanger. The four of us saw Keiko, the orca star of Free Willy, in Oregon. We're still storing the rocks and shells we have collected on our numerous trips to the west coast of Vancouver Island. Christmases! Easters! Family reunions! FAMILY. We drive each other crazy. We are unrelenting in our teasing. We get downright angry with each other.

But at the table, who we are together becomes clear. At the table we are united in one common experience, one commmon story, as we remember similar family dinners when more were gathered. We talk about what's going on in our lives, we remember the great family stories, we delight in each other's company. And whether it's just the four of us, or whether it's a big family gang, we are galvanized at the table. Somehow our identity as family becomes fixed in our hearts once more and we touch the foundation of our lives. 

I know it's not always like this. I know there is a lot of pain in families, raw, unhealed wounds of resentment, disappointment and old scores. There are also lots of families that don't look like mom and dad and 1.5 kids. I celebrate that we redefine family all the time as we come to love people for who they are, as they are, and what they teach us about family. 

It's been a while since we have gathered around the table where Christ is the host.  I'm looking forward to hearing the great family story again, as I wonder how the story is told in other cultures. 

3 Comments

Jill over 3 years ago

got an old essay for you...entitled "Food For Thought"
sort of borrowed from "Breakfast At Tiffaney's" and collided with "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner"
...the question i asked and almost answered to my satisfaction was:
If you could invite your favourite theologians to dinner, what would you serve, how would the conversation unfold and what would you learn from that shared meal?

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Blair over 3 years ago

Hey Jill,
Who I would invite is easy - Henri Nouwen if he was still living. Alan Jones, former Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Fancisco, Peter Short, former Moderator of the United Church, Sally McFague, Theologian in Residence at VST and finally Venerable Ajan Sona from the Birken Monastery near Kamloops.

I'd love the conversation to include an honest conversation about making choices for healthy living on a planet in peril. I would also hope we could have a conversation about what's right in the culture.

I would serve a 60km vegetarian meal.

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Jill over 3 years ago

way cool! thank you for your answer...love it! and the "food for more thought"...from my "theological table"...
i invited Sallie McFague, Dorothee Soelle, Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Paul.(as, some other family members were busy hosting a dinner of their own, elsewhere).
the main course i offered at this imaginary dinner was... Sauerbraten, Roast Lamb, Roast potatoes, Asparagus and Carrots, , and for the vegetarian diet, Roast Shitake Mushrooms, tofu and some harvest vegetables sauteed in a lovely harvest crockpot...
for dessert we had Coffee or Tea ...Orange and Almond Cake served with fresh fruit---grapes, strawberries and blueberries.
We talked about Gawd's salvific love...go figure!
Happy Thanksgiving!
just me, attempting to articulate the connectedness among a rather diverse(both in time and place)group of theologians....a 2000 year old conversation that still goes on...in a post modern world...
(a bit of a neo-orthodox fan)
:)

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