Friday 27 November: Table at Kate Motaung's place. For FMF we write unedited for five minutes. However, I type rather than hand-write these, so I always make sure auto-correct read my mind accurately.
For everyone born, a place at the table
For everyone born, clean water and bread
A shelter, a space, a safe place for growing
For everyone born, a star overhead
And God will delight
When we are creators of justice and joy.
Yes, God will delight
When we are creators of justice,
Justice and joy.
by Shirley Erena Murray
The eschatological feast of the Eucharistic Welcome Table is our sacramental icon of the fullness of the time of salvation when all creation is healthy and whole, everyone has sufficient food (adequate shelter that also enables safe sleeping, clean water, breathable air). At least a couple of times I've quoted Walter Brueggemann's observation justice is important, but food is necessary. Basic human needs also include community—how telling there is no such thing as a solitary celebration of Holy Communion! We're talking nourishing physical bodies with the bounty of creation – and maybe you know the explanation that the Lord's Supper requires all four elements of air, water, earth, and fire? – and also meeting that ultra-basic, truly foundational need of human community to nourish our hearts and our spirits.
I took my featured photograph on Thanksgiving Eve when I helped prepare Thanksgiving Day dinner at one of the churches I've been attending since relocating to current city. It just happened that on Thanksgiving Day I sat at that exact table! Despite being full of gratitude and astonishment at the welcome that church and their pastor have offered me, amazed thankfulness this year I could invite people to a place at the table of thanksgiving dinner for the first time in over a decade, every now and then I sensed throughout my entire being an undercurrent of memories of times of rude exclusion, of not being welcomed, of being un-welcomed a few times, too.