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A Table Blessing

As part of our liturgy for Holy Communion, we extend an invitation for everyone to share in the sacrament. Here is the version used on May 5th, adapted from a poem by the brilliant Native American poet, Joy Harjo, “Perhaps the World Ends Here.” Not only are her words beautiful, but they resonant with the belief that the Lord’s Supper is a glimpse of the coming kingdom of heaven.

Joy Harjo

 

Tables are life-giving, for no matter what, we must eat and drink to live. The gifts of the earth are brought and prepared, set on a table. So it has been since creation, and so it will be forevermore.

Tables are life-giving in that we gather together, young and old. Friends sit down next to each other; babies teethe at the corners; dogs beg underneath. 

At table, children hear instructions. People of all ages learn something about what it means to be human, to have needs and desires of flesh and bone, heart and spirit.

At table, we gossip, recalling the names of enemies and ghosts from the past. Our memories drink coffee with us, as we put our arms around children, and laugh with elders at our poor-falling down selves, sharing the sweet, satisfying truths of how we’ve put ourselves back together again.

At table, we say grace, celebrate grace. We sing with joy and with sorrow; at table, we pray for suffering and remorse; at table, we share the great story of our giving of thanks. Until Jesus comes again and we live that story with all that is within us and all that we are and all that we shall be.

Friends, you are invited to this table for it belongs to the Lord. Here Jesus meets us, ordinary people, by sharing ordinary food and drink, so that we might experience the extraordinary. So that we might taste forgiveness, savor peace of mind, and share the love that God has for us with one another. Yes, you are invited, each and every one; may we all take from this table the freely offered gifts of God.

About Andrew Taylor-Troutman

I am a pastor and a preacher, a writer, a husband and a father. My professional and personal lives are deeply involved with story-telling: stories that are silly and poignant or profound and commonplace. Stories that are tear-jerkers and belly-shakers. Stories about my son, Sam, and the congregation I serve, New Dublin Presbyterian Church. Each in its own way, these personal narratives shed light on the great story that God is writing with humankind and all of creation.

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