The table where we meet for meals can be a holy place, one where we gather not only to fill our bellies, but to know others more intimately.

God has in mind a table where the entire world will have that experience.

The Host has set the table. All are invited. So come today whether you feel like a guest or a host. Stay to be refreshed in the feast of God’s grace.

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When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard this, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

Matthew 9:11-13

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It’s a delightful problem each Thanksgiving. Where’s everyone going to sit to feel comfortable, and who gets to feast (closer to the pies) at the former “children’s” table? Where should we set the paper turkey place cards with every guest’s name? Last year my mom daringly just drew them out of a hat. Mixing up couples and sides of the family, our Thanksgiving table was abuzz with new conversations, familiar laughter, and thankfulness flowing.

What would Matthew’s place card say at the table in our passage? Tax collector? Representative of imperial authority? Outcast? Profiteer off the poor?

Jesus saw a man called Matthew, and Jesus’ invitation was a simple, “Follow me.” Jesus called him. He knew his identity. Jesus wanted to feast with him in a home, alongside faithful disciples and the perceived pious Pharisees, just as Matthew was. Jesus knows us, too, and invites us to the table.

Molly Logan

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God of mercy, you know I, too, am a sinner. Yet, like Matthew, you invite me to your feast and call me by my real name—beloved, forgiven, your child. Help me to claim that identity today. Amen.

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So, who’s at your table today? You may be surprised.

God’s promise is that everyone is welcomed to heaven’s provision.

We are blessed to be both guest and host in the feast of God’s grace.

Go now to share your bread at an open table.

Molly Logan

Molly Logan went back to school last year to become a teacher and is looking forward to empowering young people to engage in the world around them with compassion and care this new school year. Most days after school, she’s playing outside! A gardening nerd, she particularly enjoys exploring new ways to partner with communities, growing grace through the growing and sharing of food together.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

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