FROM PASTOR MIKE’S PERSONAL BLOG:
This is the before photo of the table that now sits in front of church. I purchased a 1940’s dinning room table and started the work of transforming it into a communion table. The following paragraphs are a reflection of the notes I took as I worked on this project.
As I’m starting this project I have thought a lot about what this table should look like. Fancy, plain, or simple are all thoughts that have ran through my head. In the process of working on this table I keep thinking about the practice of actually going up and participating in the Lord’s Supper. The amount of thought I have put into this table reminds me of the amount of thought someone puts into the decision of approaching the table for the first time.
I’m not using new wood without imperfections but a 70+ year old table full of scratches and inadequacies, stains, rough edges, and far from perfect. This is the way I imagine we approach the table when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. As I’m taking off the old stain I can see this wood surface that looks beautiful. The table is being restored to its previous glory much like we are when we walk forward for the body and blood of Christ. 1 hour into this project and I can smell and taste the saw dust as the restoration process has begun.
As I sit here and think about all the family meals that have been served on this table for the last 70+ years, I can’t help but smile at the thought of God’s family coming up to this table to share in His meal. My mind wanders as I try to imagine all the conversations that have taken place around this table, the tears that have been shed and the laughter that has echoed off the surrounding walls. How many family decisions have been made around this table and how many times has the Lord’s Prayer been said before the breaking of bread?
One of the biggest problems that I have run into is the weather. Even though I’m in my garage with a space heater the cold has made it difficult to stain the wood and there are some aspects of the restoration process that will have to wait until the spring when it is warmer. This reminds me that the process of becoming new in Christ also takes time as it is not an overnight process. The cold has also had an effect on me as I have spent several hours working on the table and I don’t like having to many layers on while working so I too have been a little on the frigid side of things as the cold sneaks into my body and slows my mind. Just as Satan tries to slow us down and put obstacles in our way, the cold air will not last forever as the warmth of the Son will chase away the frost.
A person has lots of ideas what the finished product will look like when you are building something or working on a project and you never truly know what the finished product will be until it is done. It’s funny now that the table is done that it’s hard to remember what the former image was. You can still see some of the really deep scares that were engrafted into the table many years ago. It’s almost as if the deep scares of life never leave as there is always a trace of the damage that was done.
I can see so many correlations to life in this table that it is kind of strange; it has become more than just a table. Even though we are made into a new creation in Christ part of our past still lingers in the dark. It won’t always be visible but if you look really hard you can see the wear and tear that make up life. This table is still not whole as there are still chunks missing and signs of old age but I don’t think the idea is to become completely restored looking new fresh out of the box. The point is that under all the ugliness of life there still remains a beauty that only becomes visible in the presence of our Savior. As we partake in the body and blood of Christ the Spirit reminds and restores us, strengthens us so that we may indeed look for a while like the glorious people that God made us to be, around the table of the KING.