The Work of the People

NOV 14, 2017 - Visual Liturgy
Preview_healing_justice

Healed at the Table

by Micky ScottBey Jones

Maybe you are like me and have been going through a lot of life changes. This was the time of year where I was dusting off cookbooks with trusted cranberry recipes and trying to find just the right turkey. Now I’m not sure if I am going to make anything at all other than microwave popcorn and enough room on the couch to watch a parade. My life has changed and the holidays are not as full of little kids running around hot kitchens and hours planning a menu. I thought perhaps the desire to gather would subside and maybe it was just time to pull away from big tables and big turkeys.

Yet, I keep thinking about what gifts could be in these changes. Could I be welcomed at another table? Could I welcome others to a new...different...changed table? Is there another healing to come...a healing that could come from giving and/or receiving at a table that I’m not sure is my own? 
“Kindness eases change. Love quiets fear” - Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents
Is the kindness that happens around a table, the type of kindness that can ease the change in my life and in our civic and religious lives right now?

Thanksgiving is a civic holiday really...it’s not really religious in that it is anchored in a specific religious tradition. It is anchored in the complicated religiosity of our American identities. I still think it presents the same opportunity as the Jesus-following tradition of coming to the table offers us. It offers us the opportunity to share...to literally and figuratively pass someone else something nourishing - a vegetable, some bread...a smile...a “what’s on your mind?”.

The table is central in these next few months...especially as we approach Thanksgiving in the United States. What can you give? What would could you be open to receiving? Now...open up and dream...how could you be healed?

For resources on holding a Healing Supper with the support of The People’s Supper Team, check out the resources page at https://thepeoplessupper.org/

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Justice is not complete without healing and healing comes from physical and spiritual nourishment. Find healing or practice bridging around your table this holiday season. Connect with The People’s Supper https://thepeoplessupper.org/ for hosting guidebooks, to host a supper or join one in your area. The People’s Supper will help you create brave space and come together over one of humanity’s most ancient and simple rituals.

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In religious circles we often talk about the healing power of the table and the nourishing power of meals. We have meals in places of worship and pretend like it is easy to invite a neighbor or even show up as our authentic selves each week. Thanksgiving shows up in ads as an extended fantasy of togetherness and sharing over food. But for many of us this is a difficult time of year. This shit is hard. It brings up childhood memories, family dysfunctions, relationships that remain ruptured and unresolved issues. On top of that, we are in a moment of tension, pain and betrayal that feels new to some and amplified to others. It can feel really difficult to look forward to more time around tables sharing food and conversation.

It is in this time, we can choose to activate our prophetic imaginations...we can become visionary fiction writers of our own stories...the table can be more than those of us that are into things like bread and wine and Wednesday suppers and sacraments and blessings, could ever imagine. We must change the way we come to the table. We must let the tables we come to change us. They will even if we resist, so we might as well be alive to the change. We might as well participate mindfully, creatively, lovingly and with purpose. God is in that change.

In the words of the prophet Octavia E. Butler:

“All that you touch
You Change.

All that you Change
Changes you.

The only lasting truth
is Change.

God
is Change.” 
― Octavia E. Butler

The People’s Supper wants to be your partner in change around the table. Visithttps://thepeoplessupper.org/ to host a supper, join a table or find a hosting guidebook for you and your community. Grab a Seat.

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We believe there is an alternative narrative to the prevalent narrative of scarcity and fear. We believe God is moving and is behind an alternative narrative of abundance and freedom, a narrative in which fear gets defeated and love wins.

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