The news has been hard to read lately. The suffering and loss, the mounting frustration and anger, the disappointments, grief, outrage and insensitivity–it can feel like a thick blanket smothering you in the middle of a summer scorcher. We are a mix of joy and despair.
It’s hard to breathe under all of this.
Here at GraceTable, we just completed our first ever summer book club reading of Tim Chester’s A Meal With Jesus. The reading of this book was remarkably timely, as we are looking around more and more and discovering perhaps, that our neighbors are not as easy to love as they used to be, before they shared their political or religious views on Facebook, or before we read their last stream of tweets. Maybe it’s the snarky friend at church who has your heart in knots, or the coworker who just won’t stop doing that thing that makes your palms itch. Maybe it’s your literal neighbor, whose dog regularly leaves his poop by your mailbox. The truth is we are all a little hard to love at times.
The reality of the struggle to simply LOVE others is a wrestle we face daily. The heart of Tim’s message is that just as Jesus came “eating and drinking” so too ought we practice meals as an opportunity for extending and receiving grace, as a means of engaging in community, as a way to experience hope, to participate in mission, to invite to salvation and remember Christ’s promises to us. Tim calls us to the table, and reminds us that there is room enough at Christ’s table for all of us sinners.
We only need to accept the invitation. And in that invitation, we can catch our breath and find hope.
For the last eight months (Wow!) you all have graciously gathered around this small cyber table and eaten feasts of words that we can only pray have nourished and fed you and led you to remember the true Host.
We have savored every morsel you’ve offered us in return.
For the month of July, we are going to scoot our chairs away from this table for a bit, and maybe drag them out back and sit beneath the umbrella. Somedays, we might go to the pool, or take a walk. Hopefully, we’ll bump into a few neighbors along the way and share a milkshake and a hot dog. We might use our afternoons to serve at the local soup kitchen, or hang out at the retirement community down the road. We’re wanting to connect in the flesh, and inviting you to do the same.
This is an invitation to withdraw from this space, from the noise of the endless news cycle, from the steady trickle of distraction–just for a month.
We won’t be publishing new posts during July, but have a bang-up quarter ahead when we set the table again for you in August.
We will be active on social media during our little vacation, and invite you to share your posts/instagrams/tweets with us by tagging us @grace_table or using the hashtag #Gracetable. We want to see how you love your neighbors. This is a great time to join us on Instagram.
We love you, friends. You bless our flip-flops off.
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If you’re not a subscriber yet, you can fix that here.
See you August 1!
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