Fellowship with God: Winter Retreat Part 2
Fellowship with God
So last night we set up what Table Fellowship is. Eating together, whether it be 2000 years ago in Greco-Roman Palestine, or at school on Tuesday, means a lot more than just calories and nutrition. Who we choose to eat with, who we choose to associate with, is a way we say who we respect, who we affirm, who we welcome. When we choose someone to sit with we are saying this is someone I want to be associated with. When we exclude someone from our table we are saying “This is someone I don’t want any part of.”
Now here’s the wild part. God has invited us to the table. God has opened the door of the community to us. The invitation is out. God is throwing the grand banquet. God who is the holiest, the best, the greatest, the richest and grandest host. In Jesus God jumped into the human mess and said I want to be with you and I want you to be a part of what I’m doing.
It’s scandalous that God would come in the person of Jesus, that God would take on humanity to come and be with humanity. God is holy. In Exodus the Israelites are afraid of even the reflection of God in Moses’ shining face. Even Moses is told that to see God’s full glory would destroy him. When he is called and sees God’s glory in the temple, Isaiah falls down and says ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’
But God decided to get into our mess anyway. And God has invited us to his table. We don’t deserve it but God isn’t worried about who’s watching. God is grander than Caesar and has all the glory and welcome and honor for all the world. God doesn’t care what others have thought about you. God is redefining you. When you sit at God’s table tax collector, gentile, Pharisee, rich, poor, powerful, weak, all those things are put aside. God is rubbing off holiness, spreading holiness around the Table.
Around our kind of churches we don’t like to do the big teary eyed end of camp altar call but there is an invitation here. God has sent out an invite, God has opened the door and set the table. Now it’s on you. Whether you’ve known God as long as you can remember and you just want to try and grow in that fellowship or you feel like you’re still outside the door, God is waiting for you.
If you want to take a first step or you want to take a next step, call me, text me, email me. I’m here to help you guys grow and go as far as you want with God. However you want to move forward, I’m here to help.
The Parable of the Great Dinner
15 One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, ‘Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!’ 16Then Jesus said to him, ‘Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.” 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my apologies.” 19Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my apologies.” 20Another said, “I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.” 21So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” 22And the slave said, “Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” 23Then the master said to the slave, “Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.” ’
What are images and symbols we usually use to talk about God’s relationship with us?
How is the image of table fellowship tell unique? What does it say emphasize about our relationship with God?
How can we grow our relationship with God?