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My father-in-law, Bob Blinn, was a man for whom mealtime was important. And while he enjoyed the food, it was more about the company. There were the birthday lunches, one-on-one time eating out with a grandchild. There was breakfast at the deli down the street with friends from the neighborhood. The most special times were when the twenty of us in the family, growing to more than thirty over the years, would gather for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter dinner.
There were occasional mealtimes when Grandad would gather everyone’s attention after we sat down, and simply say the word, “Grace." That was it. No “Dear God,” no “Amen,” and nothing in between. It didn’t take me long to see more deeply into Grandad’s way of saying grace. The meal itself, with whoever was gathered at the table, was an experience of grace. A gift of love, sometimes forgiveness, always acceptance and hospitality. It was the relationships that mattered most to him.
How do we create community around the table? What are the ways we make space there to experience grace?
~Pastor Mary Beth