We all need a place to go, to be quiet, to contemplate, to spend time with God especially in these strange and often difficult times.
I have been sitting at our dining table, writing a prayer for the next Methodist Prayer Handbook, the title of which is ‘A Place for All’. As I was contemplating this, I realised how important our table has become in the last few months. It is the place where I have my laptop, where I work, send emails, connect with friends and yes, order online! It’s a place where we meet our son and granddaughters, in our ‘Bubble’, for meals, conversation and support, with the windows open and the heating full on!
Since our first lockdown our table has become a place of prayer, where we sit to phone in to our ‘PowWowNow’ church services and evening prayers, a place where we worship, pray, read the Bible and sing hymns (only when we’ve been muted!). We can receive church notices and catch up with friends. It’s a place where we meet God.
Our table waits to be extended to welcome the friends and family we haven’t seen in such a long time. Jesus tells us that there is a place for all in God’s Kingdom. Whilst writing the prayer I turned to two hymns. The first in Singing the Faith is by Clare Stainsby (581) in which she says: Come, my table is a meeting place…, a feeding place… and a touching place…. The second is a hymn by Shirley Erena Murray, ‘For everyone born, a place at the table’ (See the link below) which is about justice whatever the colour of our skin, our gender, our age, whether we are just or unjust – all are welcome at God’s table. We are asked to be the extensions to God’s table, reaching out to care, listen to and welcome all who need his love. Our prayers are needed!