Grace and Peace to you.
Thanksgiving was wonderful. Gathering in a town where we’d never been (in South Jersey, of all places!) with twenty-one people, thirteen of them strangers to us, around a couple of tables squeezed in where the armchairs are supposed to be. A house rearranged for the sake of togetherness, decorated for the sake of joy. Strangers made family by love. Becoming part of a tribe we’ve never met. A kitchen crowded with cousins, aunts and uncles; tables piled with food; conversations rich with memories and discoveries. A nine-hundred mile drive there and back, picking up sons along the way, through the thickest holiday traffic that not only one city but Boston, New York and Philadelphia had to offer, and every mile worth it.
Isn’t that what Jesus envisioned as the Realm of God? The world rearranged for the sake of community. Beauty honored. Separations overcome. Food shared. Journeys toward each other undertaken. Family created. Isn’t this Jesus’ vision of The Real World? People around one table, eating and talking. Communion.
Today, of course, I’m in my own familiar house, all alone, eating cereal. But the vision lingers. The promise looms. I’m still there.
This is what God is trying to do with us. It’s so simple—and lovely, really: just to get us to sit down and eat together and enjoy it. This is as complicated as God’s will for us gets. This is what God is trying to get us to do every moment of our lives. Come to the Thanksgiving banquet. The furniture has been rearranged, the strangers have been invited, the food is all here. There’s an empty seat for you. The invitation is always open.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes