Table Talk refers to informal conversations over a meal (or a card game, as a friend reminded me yesterday.) In this week of cornucopias, restaurant groaning boards, and home-cooked feasts, here’s a litany you could use for Grace as you gather, one voice (or several) reading the bullet points, the rest chiming in on the bold font (should you feel so inKleined).
(With thanks to woodworkers and fly fisher-folk everywhere, theologian Leonard Sweet, and author Norman Maclean who also said “All good things—trout as well as eternal salvation—come by grace.”)
ALL READ: “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood, and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some rocks are the timeless raindrops, under the rocks are words and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters…” —Norman Maclean
LEADER: Eventually, all things do merge into One, and God’s Table runs through it. The first table was conceived by Grace for those in the Garden, extending invisibly across this earth from the timeless, hovering presence, long before there were clocks, and long after their voices shall cease.
ALL: “All good things—[time] as well as eternal salvation—come by grace.”
- We remember this day the Periodic Table of the Elements and give thanks for earth’s bounty.
- We remember the multiplication tables, and the multiplied loaves and fishes.
- We remember every table of contents in every book that has helped us find our way.
ALL: “All good things—[provision] as well as eternal salvation—come by grace.”
- We remember “Wisdom has also set her table” and choose to feast there.
- We remember the Psalmist’s table, prepared by God—in full view of his foes.
- We remember “It is not the one who reclines at table who is greatest, but the one who serves.”
ALL: “All good things—[wisdom] as well as eternal salvation—come by grace.”
- We remember Martha arraying her table for Christ.
- We remember the cagey Canaanite woman, who argued “Even the dogs feast on the crumbs from the Master’s table.”
- We remember the worried mother, at Cana. The Son who was willing to help. The first miracle, the wine steward’s awe, and all those oblivious, hungry, half-sloshed guests … who like so many today—ourselves included—show up for the food.
“All good things—[hopefulness] as well as eternal salvation—come by grace.”
“All good things—[those actions we understand and those that perplex us] as well as eternal salvation—come by grace.”
- We remember the woman who anointed our Savior, reclining at table.
- We remember the meal at Emmaus, Jesus recognized in the breaking of bread.
- We remember Christ at his last earthly table, the wine and bread: blessed. Broken.
“All good things—[reconciliation] as well as eternal salvation—come by grace.”
- We anticipate the forthcoming Marriage Supper of the Lamb, all of us together, feasting in God’s promised kingdom . . .
ALL: Because eventually, all things merge into One, and a table runs through it. From the first meal in the Garden … through this moment we share … until well beyond what we mean by forever, we are haunted by Love …