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Week Five | Orphans Find Sonship at the Table

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The Gospel on the Ground Online Biblical Study
Reading Assignment – Session Five (Pg. 108-133)
Listen to the Audio version | Reading Time: 4 minutes

My journey of enjoying table fellowship at a deeper level began in 2019 when my sister pointed out a new book by Margaret Feinberg—Taste and See: Discovering God Among Butchers, Bakers, and Fresh Food Makers. I couldn’t wait  to order it since our family’s deli name is, Taste and See. Being so familiar with this encouragement from Psalm 34, I dug in. 

After reading about Margaret’s sojourn to places in the world specific to several foods from the Bible, my impulse to experience God’s creation in a new way took over. I decided every few months, we’d invite a few families over for Biblical Supper Club. We chose a food or two and mined my Israeli cookbooks for delicious morsels to try. We gathered early because not only did we eat together, but each person participated in helping to prepare our meal. We marinated, sliced, and chopped (the young ones with a butter knife), then enjoyed glorious table fellowship.

Thanks to Covid, Biblical Supper Club began a long hiatus. But, after reading The Gospel on the Ground by Kristi McLelland this week, I got inspired to start this tradition back up. The teaching this week regarding the kingdom of togetherness delighting in each other around the table brings deeper meaning to table fellowship. I love what Kristi wrote:

We will see the kingdom of togetherness invading the empire of separation.

Kristi Mclelland, Page 109 of “the gospel on the ground

Orphans Find Sonship at the Table

One thing I learned about the kingdom of togetherness through Kristi’s explanation of the early church was that mingling between the classes didn’t happen—ever. Then all of a sudden the Holy Spirit blew in, uniting believers and they didn’t care what class they belonged to. 

I envision Jesus looking down from heaving during these events with such joy at the breaking down of barriers.  He would have seen a slave sitting next to and sharing a plate with a Senator, instead of having to sit along the wall waiting for scraps.  What a turn of events! 

As Kristi stated in the Week 5 video teaching, “table fellowship was everything”.

Instead of figuring out who was better, the early church began to understand that through Christ they were all on the same plane.

Practice for the Supper of the Lamb

Since sin entered the world through forbidden food, coming together at the table transforms the prohibited into permissible. It turns the upside-down nature of sin right-side-up and causes food to unify us. It calls us back to a time before the fall and brings restoration through table companionship. This for me, and I’m guessing for you as well, brings into focus Kristi’s comment: 

Some practices are things we do as individual expressions of shalom, wholeness, and delight with the living God and with others.

Kristi Mclelland, Page 131 of “the gospel on the ground

What a gospel gorgeous truth! 

I loved Kristi’s truth bomb on page 113 of the study, as it brought a deeper understanding: 
“Every time we eat together, we are practicing for the wedding supper of the Lamb.” 

I mean, what?! It’s easy to get bogged down in life and forget that daily mundane tasks prepare us for the other side of eternity. Friends, we have one heck of a meal to look forward to and I cannot wait. I love Isaiah’s description of the banquet to come:

“In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
will spread a wonderful feast
for all the people of the world.
It will be a delicious banquet
with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.
There he will remove the cloud of gloom,
the shadow of death that hangs over the earth.
He will swallow up death forever!
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears.
He will remove forever all insults and mockery
against his land and people. The LORD has spoken!”
Isaiah 25:6-8, NLT

Let’s remember this ladies—every meal shared in community helps us practice for the greatest meal we will ever eat. The effort we put forth to plan gatherings and put meals on the table, big or small, is not in vain. May we practice the beauty of meal fellowship well.

1. Table fellowship unified believers from the past and continues to unify followers of Jesus today.
2. The importance of daily spiritual hygiene practices in the past and now.
3. Every meal shared with community helps us practice for the coming supper of the Lamb.

How can you intentionally practice unity around your dinner table, in preparation for the wedding supper of the Lamb?

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The Gospel on the Ground | Kristi McLelland

A 7-week study unpacking the life of the early church in the book of Acts to see that the kingdom of God is always on the move, always looking outward to bring meaning and joy to a world searching for true fulfillment and hope.

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