Sunday Message

Weekly invitation to worship

Sermon April 22: Table Prepared

Posted by on Apr 22, 2018 in Sunday Message | 0 comments Faith United Methodist Church April 22, 2018 Fourth Sunday of Easter Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture: Psalm 23, John 10:11-18   Prayer of Illumination (Unison): Good Shepherd, we are the sheep of your pasture, you know us by name. We offer grateful thanks for your loving care. Open our hearts and minds to the guiding of your Spirit in our lives. Lead us in right paths, that we may serve you in truth and action. Amen.   Sermon:  Table Prepared Home. There’s lots of sayings about home. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you hang your hat. Home is where the story begins. For me, home is the smell of baking cookies or the aroma of bubbling spaghetti sauce. There’s just something about those familiar comfort foods that taste best at home. It’s nice to eat out, but at home there’s always a place at the table. The past few weeks our worship themes have centered around home. On Easter Sunday we considered how, for Mary Magdalene, home wasn’t a place but was found in the heart of Jesus. Last Sunday we reflected on the disciples’ first encounter with the Risen Christ and how it was like a family reunion. Today, with the 23rd Psalm as our lens, we celebrate God’s provision for us, like a caring parent always saving us a place at the table. As Methodists we know something about good food, right? As the joke goes, “A teacher asked his students to bring in an object that represented their spiritual beliefs for show and tell. On the day of the presentation, the first boy stood and said, “I am a Catholic. This is my crucifix.” The second boy stood and said, “I am a Baptist. This is my Bible.” The third boy stood and said, “I am a Methodist. This is my casserole dish.” Methodists know there is really nothing better than sharing food (good food) together. And our practice of potluck dinners, fellowship lunches and coffee hours is biblically grounded. The sharing of food is a metaphor often used in the Bible. Psalms of celebration speak of feasts to covey God’s goodness and power. As Christians, we are a people of the table. There is a table at the center of our worship space. We are a community that blesses, breaks and shares bread together. The 23rd Psalm is just one example of how table sharing is used to convey blessings. The words of this Psalm are so familiar to us that we often hear their comfort without really listening to what they say. The Psalmist, who is believed to be King David, writes, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Abundance is what he’s really talking about. We can only imagine that the table prepared by God would be covered with all the finest food and drink. The Message version of the same passage reads, “You serve me a six course dinner right in front of my enemies.” The God of the Universe sets the table, prepares the food, and provides a feast. But the Psalmist ~ David ~ did not have a romantic or unrealistic view of the world.   The enemies he spoke of were not...

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