Holidays bring about settings of beautiful tables, with families welcomed into our homes to share a carefully prepared meal. A table is arranged and an extra trip to the store adds just the right touches. Napkins, greenery and tablecloths are purchased, the menu is planned, and we eagerly anticipate the celebration. All for a moment to share a meal, laughter and good conversation with those special people in our lives.
But then the holidays pass. Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is celebrated, the New Year is brought in with parties and good cheer, and often our tables sit strangely empty and quiet... and life gets back to "normal." We wait for the holidays to return again before we make those special, heartfelt preparations in our homes and at our tables.
What if we changed that this year? What if the setting of our tables and the preparation to welcome friends and family into our home became a monthly practice in the everyday reality of life? What if, instead of waiting for the holidays, we set our table to simply sit and tell the stories of God’s goodness in our lives? (There is something very powerful about speaking of His goodness—out loud.) How do we go about sharing from a personal place the very glory of the handiwork of God? Where can we tell our stories?
I think for day in, day out life, it might be at the table. Over a meal. Sharing these real-life stories of God with the people around us—including our children—is a tremendous opportunity to build into the next generation that they may KNOW God, in order that they might pour into the generation after them, so that many may come to KNOW God.
At the table is where we could share a testimony of God’s faithfulness through a difficult time. At the table is where we could flesh out what faith and trust and a relationship with Jesus looks like for each of us. I want to create that at the table. I want to set that as my expectation for this New Year. To invite families over and make it happen in the crazy, busy mess of everyday life. Dinners where we hear of the goodness of the Lord in others’ lives. Where amazing testimonies are shared. Or a "this too shall pass" moment in time is told, and the glory of the goodness of the Lord is declared. For our children to hear ... and for them to pass down from generation to generation. For our own hearts to perceive—from one believer to another.
Let us not neglect the practice of gathering together—holidays or no holidays. Let us come to the table and share. Share a meal. Share a story. Share His goodness.
“I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD,
according to all that the LORD has granted us…” (Isaiah 63:7a)