It’s officially the season for gathering and, though our plans may look a bit different from seasons past, we are so grateful that coming around the table for a meal is still a tried and true tradition, no matter how large our party might be. As we enter into these last few months of 2020, we want to remind you of why we gather. We know isolation has been the theme of this year, but, in the midst of it all, we’ve been reminded of how much we really do need each other.
When we think of all the times that we’ve felt most seen, known, and loved as people, it’s often revolved around a meal and deep conversation. And that’s exactly what our heart is for IF:Table. We believe that God shows up when we sit around our tables and break bread together, and we believe that we can’t live life without this kind of fellowship. Coming together at the table allows us to give God away right where we are. Instead of keeping God to ourselves, we have the opportunity to share him with others. But we don’t want to simply invite someone over one time and then move on. As Paul writes to the people of Thessalonica, we want to share our whole lives with others.
Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. – 1 Thessalonians 2:8
What exactly does it look like to share our lives with others? There is no cookie cutter answer here, but one thing we know for sure is that it always involves the extravagant love of Jesus. To love others as Jesus loved means that we meet people where they are, we speak truth to them, we create a safe space for them to feel loved, and we do not shy away from the hard and the messy parts of life. Sharing our lives means that we let people see the imperfect parts of us, and we let them see how God has shown us grace upon grace. Without such vulnerability, our relationships would stay shallow, and we wouldn’t get to witness the transforming power of the gospel in the lives of the people around us.
So how can you give God away and share your whole life with someone this season? Is there a neighbor you can get to know more every time you’re outside, or a college student you can invite into your messy home, or a coworker you can have over for a meal? God created us to be in relationship with one another, so let’s continue pursuing the stubborn teenager, the single mom, and the new family on the block. Let’s fill our tables as often as we can. Let’s love one another as God has loved us.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25