The holidays bring such a range of emotion. For many, it is the height of family tradition and togetherness, but for others the holidays are a reminder of the way things once were and will never be again. For some, this year will be a holiday season of new beginnings and for some this season will be full of sad endings. Regardless of where this season finds you on the spectrum, each one brings with them their own set of brokenness and personal stresses.
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Many of you may be more like me and you struggle with hosting. Hospitality is not easy. It is a labor of love. It is often hard for us to open our homes and invite people in, even family and friends. It can be equally difficult for some to accept an invitation to join someone else in their home. We like to stay in our zone of comfort when it comes to social holiday gatherings, but there is great reward in stepping outside that zone.
I am reminded of a truly wonderful song by Sidewalk Prophets called “Come to the Table.” If you are not familiar with it, go look it up online and take a listen. This song talks about laying aside our judgmental preconceived ideas and accepting God’s open invitation to join Him at His eternal table. Like many spiritual truths it also has tangible application here in our daily lives. As God invites us to come to His table, He is also asking us to invite others to join us around our earthly physical tables.
As we gather around tables of yummy food in homes decorated to perfection, God is not calling us to fix people or change them. He is also not calling us to be impartial observers of holiday festivities. He is calling us here to meet those gathered where they are and show them the love and grace that we have been repeatedly shown. It is through the service of hospitality and the loving gathering of family, friends and even strangers that we see a tiny glimpse of what God intended for us.
Welcome to the table this Holiday season. Our prayer is that God will open your heart and the outpouring of the grace you have received would fill the lives of those with whom you gather.