The Common Table

In Sabbath Parlance…

Passover TableFriday evening is the beginning of the celebration of the Sabbath. The Lord’s Day as reverenced by Jews everywhere, and it is a commandment from God to make the day holy (Exodus 20:8-11).

Internationally, the Sabbath begins at sundown on our Friday, and all follow a similar plan to begin their evening meal.

While traveling in Israel I watched the unfolding of the Sabbath celebration, even their Passover celebration follows the same plan – just more elaborately set. Their clothing is more elaborate. As they crowded into Jerusalem, you could experience their adherence to the Law. Listen to God’s rule.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11 NKJV)

Notice the labor rule. For six days you labor, but on the seventh day you rest. No one worked. When riding the elevators, and my memory is a little slow in recalling the specifics, there were specific cars that stopped at every floor so that no one had to push a button – essentially that’s work. Non-kosher food had disappeared from menu and buffet lines. Only that which was proper for the Jew to eat was available. Along with the laws of the bible regarding what they can and cannot eat, their customs of food for 100’s of years were followed.

Jews everywhere have a common process of celebration. It includes praying, intoning blessings and scripture recitals. If it is the start of Passover, then they include reciting the history of Passover – essentially the blessings of God over Israel as they prepare to leave bondage in Egypt. Dressed. Prepared to travel. Just the necessary food as prescribed by God. These rules are followed today. (Click Here to Read More)

They stand at the table rehearsing their history and giving thanks to God.

This morning I thought about all the variety of people I know. Culture. Customs. Countries. Years of food and dining habits follow them to their table today. As these families members merge their history with others, they meld each culture into our modern habits.

If I want to have true “Southern” food, then there are people I know to hang out with. If I want to try new things, then it is as simple as looking for those who have culture I’ve never experienced.

Yet, when we all come to the Table of Jesus, it is a common experience that is similar around the world. It is as if Jesus is resting at the side of the lake, coals hot, food prepared, and his simple command is, “Come. Dine.” (John 21:12)

What he has prepared will be exactly what we need.

Christians celebrate their Holy Day on Sunday, which is the first day of the week and the day Jesus rose from the tomb. That’s tomorrow. Commonly called Easter. No bunny rabbits hiding chicken eggs. No special food required, and in fact, no  natural food is provided.

I’m wondering this. If you have never celebrated at the Table of Jesus, or if it has been a long time, would you go Sunday to a church or with a Christian family near you and feast at the table Jesus has prepared for you? The invitation is open. All you have to do is come… dine…

 

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