Sit Here By Me

table

photo by Bill Woodruff

for Sunday, April 28, 2013
5th Sunday of Easter
Year C
lectionary focus: Acts 11:1-18; John 13:31-35

Good Morning!
Happy Easter!

When I was in high school, the tables in the lunchroom were separated: the nerds sat at their tables and the popular people sat at their tables. Fifty years ago in our country, restaurants were separated…white people ate at certain restaurants and black people ate at others. In Bible times, Jews could not eat with Gentiles. Seems like for thousands of years, we’ve been having problems with who can sit together at the table. Whenever different people have tried to share tables, other people freak out.

Our Bible story today reminds us that God’s table is big enough for everyone. Peter has just come back from a trip. Some of his friends are giving him a hard time because he ate with “those” people. (use the air quotes to make the point) But Peter patiently shares that “those” people are their neighbors. I wonder if you remember what Jesus taught about neighbors…Yes, Love your neighbors as yourself. Jesus also said, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

Obviously, love is a lesson the world is still learning every day. And love is a lesson we practice each time we come to the Lord’s table for communion.* Here we see that God welcomes each and all of us: tall or short, young or old, fancy or regular, (use other differences that fit your congregation, like in my area we would say Auburn or Alabama)… God does not let our differences prevent us from sharing His table. Therefore, let us praise God together! And let us remember that whether here at church or at school or anywhere in the world, we can come together with different people because we are all neighbors. God loves us and our neighbors. And just like God loves us, we are to love one another.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for sharing Your table
with me.
Help me
to share tables
with the neighbors I meet
here
there
and everywhere.
Amen

*If your church does not do communion often or the children do not participate, substitute ‘God’s House’ or ‘Church’ in place of ‘His table.’

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

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4 responses to “Sit Here By Me

  1. I think this is the best one you’ve ever written. And, I thank God every day I’ve had the opportunity to sit at the table with you and yours so many times!

    • Thanks, Jill. I love being able use the words “nerds and “freak out” in the same children’s sermon. And I love how your dining table is never too small! Told someone today about the year of shared meals…the $60 of shrimp is still the best story! Wish we were having dinner together tonight. But then the Internet is kind of like an open table, right?

  2. Thank you for the inspiration – it’s Saturday and after an even busier week than usual I didn’t have a Children’s Sermon for tomorrow that worked with the Acts reading. I love the table imagery and will definitely use it . . . if I’m ambitious I may have a few tables set up that we can combine to form one large table as I talk. Thank you again – blessings on your ministry.

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