Last fortnight we spoke of the importance of belonging and being active in our church; but how do we, as the people of God help each other, and especially help new comers to belong?
There are two ways in which we (Christians) operate within the church and also welcome newcomers; we either become table people or tower people.
Towers are tall, dominant, imposing, impressive and often quite exclusive. Often when you reach a tower in the city you can’t get in unless you have a code, or unless you already know someone inside. If you do get in towers are often difficult to navigate and there are some floors which are totally off limits without a key or a membership card. From a tower we look down on the world, we look down passers by, and we look down on those who want to access our tower. Towers are made out of uniform materials, they are hard, clean, man made, and they are almost religious in their conformity (and they are very often boring). When God’s people built a tower in Genesis 11 God had to come down to see what His people were doing; and He said “this will never do … My people are not tower people”.
On the other hand tables are flat, low and accessible. Table are usually made out of more natural materials, they are soft and often beautiful. Tables are inviting, they are places of welcome, and feasting, and conversation and learning. The Bible tells us that God has set a great banquet table for His people (imagery of the Kingdom of God), In Luke 14, when God is told that there is still room at the table, He sends ambassadors to bring more people in; in fact he tells His ambassadors to “compel’ people to come, to offer repeatedly, to encourage, to remind, even to beg! God is not satisfied until His table is full. In Luke 14 God’s banquet table is not uniform, but it certainly is interesting! God is a table person … and He calls us to be table people! To go out and compel all people to come to fill His table and His house, and therefore to fill our table with the poor, the cripple, the lame, foreigners, widows, children - those who are the same as us, and those who are different. We help each other, we help new people, we even help ourselves to belong when we become table people.
So a question to ponder this week: Are you a tower person or a table person? Is your church a tower or a table? Are you compelling all people to come and belong?
Grace & peace
Jen is an energetic and passionate disciple of Christ who loves to share Jesus with anyone who will listen!