Thursday, April 5, 2012

loving at the table

food list
breakfast: mixed nuts and gluten-free pretzels, green tea
lunch: veggie panini and soy latte from beans and bagels, orange
dinner: veggie flatbread, vitamin water zero (pomegranate)

origin of an item
beans and bagels has two locations in chicago and one of them is on montrose, less than a quarter of a mile from my chicago congregation, ravenswood presbyterian church.

theological reflection
on this maundy thursday, i'm thinking of the commandment Jesus gives his disciples when he tells them to love others as they have been loved by God in Jesus (John 15:12). 

love others.

so i'm thinking, too, of the ways i've loved others today and every day--the times when i've succeeded and when i've failed. 

i remember that Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, knew that his closest friends would abandon, disappoint and betray him. he knew that he would be lonely and broken. 

yet he still calls these friends to his table. and at this table, he offers them a feast. he knows that they will hurt him--deeply--and he feeds them. 

so, i'm thinking more about the ways i've loved others today and every day--the times when i've offered hospitality (even when i didn't want to) and the times when i refused. the times when i've loved another person and the times when i've been filled with hate. the times when i've recognized that how i live my life affects the lives of other people and the times when i've ignored our interconnectedness and interdependence.

i had dinner tonight with one of my very best friends. we ate before i went to church and i felt in our conversations all the moments we've shared together--the moments of joy and sadness and frustration and giddiness... i know deep within me that she will never betray or abandon me, that she will always love me unconditionally (and vice versa).

i wonder if jesus wished that he could feel the same way about the people he gathered around the table with him. i wonder if he was sad when he realized that none of his followers would live up to his new commandment to them. 

so, i'm thinking about what it means to share a meal with those we know will disappoint us. and i wonder what might happen if we saw ourselves more clearly in the disciples. we will disappoint each other (and we do). we will abandon each other (and we do). we will betray each other (and we do). 

sometimes we do not offer others a feast, but a famine. we do not offer others hospitality, but hostility. we do not offer others love, but distrust, alienation and betrayal.

but every meal is an opportunity to love others--from animals and plants to farmer to factory workers to table guests.

who do we welcome to our tables? what do we offer them? how do we love one another as we eat?

thank you for the food we eat,
thank you for the world so sweet,
thank you for the birds that sing,
thank you God for everything.

No comments:

Post a Comment