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Welcome at our Table

Submitted by umccopenhagen on Tue, 04/14/2020 - 14:34
skaertorsdag

Welcome to our dinner table. My wife Elisabeth and I have had this dining table for almost 30 years. 

This is our table, but when we share a meal, it becomes his table as well. He becomes the host, and he invites you to his table. And this is true even if you are alone at your table during this time, or if you are only a few around your table. This is true even if you would wish you could fill your table with family and friends during this Easter. He is present at the table, he breaks bread and he drinks juice with you. 

Watch the video here or read the full text below: 

We were young then living of a pastor’s salary, and we couldn’t afford the table, so we had to borrow money to buy it. We have shared hundreds of meals around this table, with family and friends and with people, we hardly knew. Some of the people, who have been at this table, have died, and we miss them. 

We have celebrated birthdays, engagements, Christmas, Easter and New Year eves around this table. We have passed the food the around, poured in the glasses, we have talked, we have eaten, we have told stories, we have had heated arguments around this table. We have laughed, cried, discussed, shared ideas, mourned and rejoiced together around this table. Our dinner table is a table of deep fellowship. 

On his last evening, before he was arrested, tortured, crucified and killed, Jesus shared a meal with his friends, as they had done many times before. Their final meal was a fest. They shared the traditional Passover meal, rich with rituals, prayers and particular dishes to commemorate how the Jewish people was freed from slavery in Egypt and led from captivity into freedom. They would retell the old stories and celebrate. 

Imagine you are there. Not at this table, but at His table, taking part in the feast, hearing the voices, watching the shining eyes of your friends as you listen to the old stories. You hear the laughter; you join in the dancing and singing. But somewhere you sense a smouldering uneasiness, a creeping anxiety, something is terribly wrong. 
That is when Jesus picks up the bread, holds it in his hands, breaks it, and silently he lifts his gaze on each of you. And when he catches your eyes, it feels like he looks straight into your soul. Take this and eat all of I am not you, this is my body broken for you. Do this every time you eat it to remember me.   

Then he took the cup with wine, and he lifted the cup and blessed it. Again, he looked each of you in the eye, and said, drink this all of you, this is my blood, it will mark a new covenant, salvation for you, and all people, as often as you drink it, do it to remember me. 

I vividly remember one evening, not at this table but at our kitchen table. Our children were small. We were probably eating something pasta Bolognese, as they tell me, we often had at that time. We had some salad, some bread rolls and some red fruit juice. Suddenly our son 6 year old Mathias took a bread roll, he began to break into pieces, and he solemnly gave a small piece to each us saying, this Jesus Christ. Then he began to pour juice into our glasses, and he said this is Jesus Christ. And we continued our meal, no one commented. We just continued eating. However, right there a little boy captured the essence of what Jesus did with his friends on the evening before his death. 

Jesus made all meals holy. Every time we share a meal with each other, we have the opportunity to remember him, and what he has done for us. I am not trying to replace or diminish the importance and significance of Holy Communion celebrated in our worship services. But I am saying, that Jesus’ presence among people goes far beyond what happens in our churches. 

He has turned the ordinary into extraordinary. He has made all meals holy, and given us the opportunity to remember what he has done for us, every time we break bread and drink wine or juice. 

Desmond Tutu has said: Like when you sit in front of a fire in winter — you are just there in front of the fire. You don't have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.

This is our table, but when we share a meal, it becomes his table as well. He becomes the host, and he invites you to his table. And this is true even if you are alone at your table during this time, or if you are only a few around your table. This is true even if you would wish you could fill your table with family and friends during this Easter. He is present at the table, he breaks bread and he drinks juice with you. 

And you don’t have to smart or anything. He is there, and the fire of his love and his grace will warm you. 
Therefore, I encourage you to make each meal something special – by saying a simple prayer of thanksgiving for the meal and perhaps mentioning the names of those you love and miss. 

Jesus thank you for the gifts of food and fellowship, bless us as we share them. And as we think about those, who are not with us right now, and as we mention their names to you…………we ask you to bless and to protect them. In your name, we pray. Amen.

He broke the bread and he passed the wine, and he said do this as often as you eat and drink it to remember me – and suddenly Jesus is present at your table.

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mapThe Nordic and Baltic episcopal area covers 7 countries Denmark,Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We speak 9 official languages and use English as a common language.

Bishop Christian Alsted gives oversight to pastors, deacons, local churches, schools, hospitals, seminaries and diaconal institutions in the area.

Bishop emblemUnited Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We value the intellect and modern science, at the same time we see the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. Methodists recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions and to wrestle with difficult issues, and we do so with grace and compassion.

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