Monday, May 2, 2011

Looking Forward to May 8, 2011 -- 3rd Sunday of Easter, Mother's Day

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Psalm 116(VU p.836)
  • Luke 24:13-35

The Sermon title is Gathering Around the Table

Early Thoughts: A family meal can be so much more than a way to get nourishment. It can be a religious/spiritual event!

 There was a time in human history when meals were a family affair.  Sometimes it was a nuclear family.  But often, especially for Sundays and definitely for high holidays, it would be an extended family gathering.

ANd there is something special about the family table.  At that table the life of the family is discussed.  At that table the stories of family history are told, re-told, modified.  At that table the family is strengthened and brought together.  And sometimes at that table the family is rent apart (if we are being honest), sometimes at that table the family disagreements are re-hashed.

One of the things I lament is that the idea of placing importance on a family meal seems to be fading in our society.  WE lose something.  We lose a chance to pass on our stories, we lose a chance to strengthen the bonds of family.  And some owuld suggest we lose something else...

In her book The Great Emergence Phyllis Tickle suggests taht one of the sea-changes in the church relates to the loss of Sunday family dinner.  Tickle envisions those family dinners where church was discussed, children were asked about Sunday School, the faith was passed on (and if your Grandmother was anything like mine there was little room for questioning the faith that was passed on).  As those dinners go away then the way the faith gets passed on changes.

ANd this makes sense, for those who had that type of family dinner.  THe Scripture story is clear that for the earliest followers of THe Way gathering for a meal was a critical part of how the story was told, how the faith was celebrated.  Indeed this week's story suggests that for some people it was at one of those meal gatherings that Easter was experienced for the first time.

MEals.  More than just taking in nutrition.  A chance to pass things on.  A chance to buidl relationships.  A chance to strengthen our family--however we choose to define that term.

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