The power of the table
By David and Meg Robbins
This week, we’re featuring excerpts from FamilyLife’s new devotional book The Story of Us. Click here to order your copy.
When we moved to Western Europe to do ministry at an elite university, we quickly learned our Bible-Belt upbringing had not prepared us for conversations about faith in a post-modern, secular environment. We had much to learn and little to offer—outside of Jesus. We felt pretty helpless when it came to engaging people in gospel conversations.
That’s when we learned the power of the table. We began inviting people into our home and sharing a meal, and this broke down all sorts of barriers. We began to build an exponential amount of trust in short order.
Being a family that seeks to point people to Jesus involves two simple components:
- Come to the table
- Set a place at your table for others
Coming to the table touches us in both spiritual and relational ways. It is where we listen and talk, laugh and cry, dream and plan. And yes, Jesus should often be a topic of conversation—how He loves, what we’re learning of Him, and how our family can represent Him well.
But the table is not just for “us”; we join God by welcoming others too. Setting a place for guests communicates love, acceptance, and grace. To the hungry it says, eat. To the lonely it says, welcome. To the needy it says, receive. To all it says, God loves you.
We used to think:
- What do we really have to offer the people God has placed around us?
- What if they really knew our marriage from the inside?
- Isn’t our marriage and faith too “in process” to be of much help to others?
No matter how underwhelming or unqualified you think you or your marriage are, know that God delights in taking the imperfect—and sometimes ugly—things in our lives and making them into beautiful things that give Him glory.
Do you believe God wants you to join in His eternal purposes? Represent Jesus to your neighbors, beginning with a simple invitation to your table.
Adapted from The Story of Us. Copyright ©2019 by FamilyLife Publishing. All rights reserved.
The good stuff: Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
Action points: Do you and your spouse leave an empty spot at your table for guests? What would it take to make the table a place of open invitation in your home? Spend time praying for ways to display the love of Christ through your hospitality.
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