Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Advent 3 : Making Room In The Kitchen And At The Table

Advent 3a : Making Room In The Kitchen

Have you ever noticed how, whenever a crowd of people come together for a party, they all gravitate to the kitchen?  They might come in search of more food, or to refill their glass...but they don’t take the plate back to whatever other room they came from.  And when everyone else has left, the last guest standing will be propping up the kitchen counter, putting the world to rights.

How might we make room for Jesus in the centre of our lives, in the kitchen?

Jesus himself said that he will come to us in those who are in any kind of need: that we welcome him by welcoming him in others; that, despite our protestations, our neatly formulated words of orthodox belief, we reject Jesus when we reject another human being – one made in the likeness of God, made to bear God’s presence.

Tea and sympathy are of little use to anyone per se; but the kitchen is a great place in which to offer shelter, in which to minister the very presence of God to someone’s life, in which to minister to the very presence of God in their life...

Advent: making room for Jesus – in the kitchen.

Advent 3b : Making Room At The Table

Community is nurtured at the table perhaps more than any other context.

Eating together is key to investing-in our relationships.  But not every relationship is equal, and it is worth attending to the question of short- and long-orbits: how frequently do we need to spend time with different people?  Core relationships require close living; but we also have – and need to invest in – key acquaintances.

Who do you need to eat with once a week?

once a month?

once a term?

once a year? (years ago I babysat for a couple who hosted an annual meal, around Christmas time, for everyone who had babysat for them over the previous year)

or simply once? (don’t ignore ‘once’ meals simply because they are a one-off event).

Others ways to make room for Jesus at the table include:

giving thanks together;

sharing highs (rejoicing with those who rejoice) and lows (mourning with those who mourn) and needs (praying for one another);

telling stories;

marking feasts and festivals, with appropriate prayers, story-telling, decoration, gift-giving;

swapping recipes.

Advent: making room for Jesus – at the table.

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