Psalm 133: Sitting at the table

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Who do you welcome to the table?

by Amy Stone

“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” Ps. 133:1 (NRSV)

“You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family….”

Who sits around your Thanksgiving Day table? Does your gathering exemplify Psalm 133: A good and pleasant unity of kin? Or, like the rest of us, are some of your kindred more "united" than others?

Tensions and divisions afflict every family, no matter how loving or close. We are drawn together despite the inevitable frictions and pains. Our hearts long for the comfort of home and the presence of those from whom we are parted.

So too, the church longs for unity among the family of God. How good and pleasant it would be if the church could worship without division. And yet, we are still journeying toward that blessed day. Along the way we share Psalm 133 as a traveling song, an encouragement for the road. As a Psalm of Ascent, it is our accompaniment along the way to the feast.

And who will meet us there? When Jesus does the inviting, we end up with the likes of Zacchaeus, Mary Magdalene and a Roman centurion at the same table. The unity of kin is messy, like warm anointing oil poured over the head, so thick that it runs down the face and shoulders. The unity of kin is rare and precious, like a coronation day, like Christmas Eve. The unity of kin is refreshing and sustaining, like cool fresh water for a drought-stricken land.

Who sits around our Communion table? Have we welcomed one another as Christ has welcomed us?

Through the voices of her characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee speaks this plain truth: “You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family, an' they're still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge 'em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don't.”

Look around the table. We are kin. For the sake of Christ’s name and reputation, let us journey through this holiday season of thanksgiving and praise with open arms and hearts, living into the refreshing messiness of Christian unity. May our fellowship be a blessing to the Lord and to the world as we learn to live together as one diverse people.
 

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This article is part of the CL Archives. Articles published between August 2017 and July 2008 were posted on a previous website and are archived here for your convenience. We have also posted occasional articles published prior to 2008 as part of the archive. To report a problem with the archived article, please contact the CL editor at editor@usmb.org.

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