Thursday, March 28, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 44: March 28

Thursday, March 28, 2013: Finding Our Place at the Table 

Psalm 116:12-15 “What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.” 

Our confession of faith is that God is good. In fact, in the formulaic language of the southern church in which I was raised, “God has been better to me than I have been to myself.” This is truly one of the mysteries of our faith. God has the amazing capacity and tendency to bless us even when we are not aware of God’s hand of blessing upon us. 

This provision of blessing is also part of the provision of Maundy Thursday. Jesus invited those closest to him, even his betrayer to the dinner table for a time of blessed and sweet communion. Our Lord turned an ordinary meal into an extraordinary time of remembrance. He invited those closest to him in the sharing of the now sacred meal to remember him and to remember the great cost of his love. 
I have eaten at many tables. Some lavish and full of abundance, and others so sparse that it seemed as though there would not be enough food to go around. I have eaten at tables in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, the Middle East, Australia and island places too numerous to count. In every place, I have discovered the amazing presence of Christ at table. I believe that God reminds us of our commonality at table. I believe God invites us to find our place at the table where difference is diminished, even extinguished, and we find oneness and unity in Christ. 

I believe Imagine No Malaria is one of those unifying places for our church. Imagine No Malaria is a place where we can also lay aside our differences and unite around the saving of lives. Please join us at this welcome table. 

Prayer: Good God, we are so blessed that Jesus made room for us at the table. We are so blessed that the love of Christ breaks down every wall and helps us to see the entire human family as brothers and sisters. Help us to see Imagine No Malaria as a way to “return to the Lord for all his bounty.” Let our support of Imagine No Malaria be just another expression of your invitation to be at table together, sharing of the abundance you have given so freely. Hallelujah! Amen! 

Rev. Gary Henderson, Nashville, Tennessee 
Executive Director, Global Health Initiative of The United Methodist Church 

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