The Coming Banquet

The Coming Banquet

by The Very Rev. Jeanne Forte

Here we pause – looking toward the banquet table around which we assemble for our Christmas feasting – yet casting our hearts further to that feast which is heralded by The Incarnation. As I was thinking through our Advent and our head-long rush into the Christmas services I was reminded of a study conducted by a student at the University of Louvain. It was a long time ago, when I was a seminarian and reading copiously about that mysterious activity we call liturgy. This student gathered a number of children of various ages to take part. To each of them she showed three different concepts of a birthday party and asked them to choose the ideal one. The first picture showed a table loaded with gifts with a child standing alone in front of the table. The second picture showed a small family group eating ice cream and cake with one large gift package beside the child’s place. The third picture showed a large group of adults and children eating around a beautifully decorated table, no presents. The children made their choices. Seventy percent chose the third option on the grounds that because all the people were happy it was a “real” party. I was intrigued then, and still am after all these years. For thousands of years Judaism tells a story that what all humanity longs for at its deepest level can be imagined by a single scene – a great banquet table covered with food and drink. At this table there is room for all. None are higher or lower than others. There is enough for all. All are welcome. All share its joy. Interesting. I wonder if children know something we adults have forgotten. In Jesus, God has birthed a table for all, all of humanity. Thanks be to God. Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. George wrote:
Beautiful. Many thanks, Jeanne.

Tue, December 18, 2012 @ 5:33 PM

2. Bob Pritchard wrote:
Thank you. I am so grateful that there is enough for all.

Tue, December 18, 2012 @ 7:39 PM

3. The Rev. Ted Ridgway wrote:
Very engaging reflection, brief and memorable,without a lot of modifiers. Thank you and blessings as we approach the manger and await the feast.

Fri, December 21, 2012 @ 12:24 PM

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