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Belonging at the Table

Today’s Reflection

LAST WEEKEND I started mentally gearing up to host a meal. What date? How many? Who? I’ve learned that a good dinner party includes people who share common interests but can also bring fresh ideas to enliven the table talk. I scribbled names of professional women with admirable faith, all lively conversationalists. The ideal grouping I envisioned the perfect ladies’ night.

Even the thought of entertaining can prompt me to tidy up. Skimming through and discarding old magazines, I stared at a bold-faced headline that made me think twice about the potential guest list: “Guess Who Ought to Be Coming to Dinner.” I stopped and read the smaller print of the text by the Reverend Dr. Bonnie Thurston about Jesus and his “unacceptable dinner guests.” She asked, “What if I invited folks to dinner and did not worry whether they belonged at the table?” …

Lord, whether I’m planning a dinner or a day, help me to ask good questions, starting with, “[God,] What do you want me to do?”

– Evelyn Bence

Room at My Table

From pages 24-25 of Room at My Table: Preparing Heart & Home for Christian Hospitality by Evelyn Bence. Copyright © 2014 by Evelyn Bence. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.
“http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray the prayer at the end of today’s excerpt. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:7, NRSV

This Week: pray for parents. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Macrina the Elder (January 14).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 7 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller January 16, 2016, 3:47 am

    Deciding who to invite to dinner is like the invitation to a wedding that Jesus tells about. When all was ready those initially invited couldn’t / wouldn’t come and the host found people on the street and invited them. Lord, help us to be like You. I am glad there are churches that have meals for anyone who wants to come.

    Prayers for parents, young, middle aged, and old. From the day you had a child until the day you leave this life, you are a parent. Parenting changes over time just as your children do, but the parent-child relationship is always possible. Prayers for parents and children whose relationship is broken, weakened, nonexistent. Lord, guide every parent to do what is right in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

    Thankful for a nice day, tasks done, and progress made. Thank You, Lord.

  • Jill January 16, 2016, 4:46 am

    I believe the answer to the question…”Lord, what would you have me do?” Was given in Howard’s comments yesterday. “Love God, love people.” I had not heard this simple statement prior to a few months ago. One of the pastors at my church shared a conversation he overheard with his wife and their son as he was ready to go to his first day of kindergarten. The mom said, “remember what your job is each day…love God and love people.” Simply put, but how good if that was foremost in each of our minds as we encountered each new day.
    Grateful for safety yesterday on the first leg of my trip. Grateful to find a little Italian restaurant right near my hotel for dinner. Grateful that this weekend provides lots of solitude time (driving) coupled with time spent with friends I don’t often get to see.
    Thoughts and prayers to my UR family here. You challenge me, encourage me and I strive to faithfully hold each of you in prayer. May God bless you this weekend, as always.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 16, 2016, 4:58 am

    Have a wonderful and safe trip, Jill!

    Father God, each day when we wake up, help us to seek your guidance as to what you want each of us do. Every step we take in our journey, help us to seek your guidance and grant us the strength to do what you want us to do. May your will be done in our lives, Lord!

  • Sara January 16, 2016, 7:34 am

    What would God want me to do today? Do unto others as I would have them do to me. It’s simple Lord, but sometimes we get too involved in our daily life. Help me Lord to take the time to notice others, really notice, and to act accordingly.

    Prayers for parents today and the awesome responsibility and joy that comes with parenting. Help parents to not become discouraged when a bump in the road comes their way. God bless and guide parents today. Prayers also for all who visit the UR today and lightened the way for those struggling with life issues. Lord, we need and want Your guidance and wisdom on this journey. Amen

  • Carol January 16, 2016, 10:36 am

    As a start in 2016, I posted a small note on my bathroom mirror to greet me each morning and evening. It is a quote from Ben Franklin, “what good shall I do today?, what good have I done today?”.

    These questions must rest alongside my passion to Love God, Love myself, Love others. It is a part of welcoming the unexpected person and unexpected incident at times.

    When I awoke yesterday, it was not expected to happen on that day, but by mid morning, I knew that it was the day to sign papers for my uncle to enter hospice. God, in graciousness, has opened my eyes so that I would recognize the right time.

  • Rusty January 16, 2016, 4:45 pm

    Carol, prayers for you and your uncle on the way. Not an easy decision, but made, I’m sure, with Jesus standing close by your side. God bless you.

  • Sara January 16, 2016, 5:22 pm

    Carol, prayers for you and your uncle and other family members. May God be near to all of you.

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