This week I’m at the Orange Conference. This table is not from this years theme. In fact in will quite likely not even be mentioned at all this week. But, as I walked around the conference I found myself looking at this table. As I looked at it, the symbolism of it struck me. This is not about a pretty picture. It’s not about a perfect place setting, worthy of a magazine. This table, and these chairs are about a gathering.
You see, it’s not about the mismatched chairs, it’s about the table.
This table represents a place for people to come together. Heck, there was a time when the table in our homes was a place to gather. These days the table, at least in my home, is much more likely to be a gathering place for miscellaneous things that we accumulate throughout the week.
But this table is different.
Many people would struggle with the mismatched chairs, but I think it’s beautiful. I could never get away with it in my house, but from a symbolic standpoint it’s magnificent. You see the chairs around any table are there for people. They represent the people that will sit in them. They represent the people that will gather around that table.
This table is about a gathering.
That’s why the mismatched chairs are so awesome. When I look at this table with these mismatched chairs I can imagine a wide variety of people gathered around it… sitting in those chairs. I can imagine a mix of people as different and varied as the chairs themselves, and that’s beautiful.
My hope, my prayer, is that the church God has called me to lead would be like this table and the people in it like these chairs.
You see, this table is a gathering place. It’s a gathering place that welcomes the wide variety of chairs, even though none of them match and none of them appear to have belonged, originally, to that table. That’s what I want for our church. I want to build environments where people that look, dress, worship, and think differently can come and wrestle through their spiritual journey, together
But, there is more to it.
You see, this table is not just another horizontal surface for you to rest your junk on as you pass by, like the table in my house. Or is it. Maybe this table IS a place for us to drop our junk. Maybe this table is a place where broken and hurting people can come and gather with other broken and hurting people. Maybe as they gather they can lay their junk on this table. Maybe when they go away from this table, they can even leave some of that junk behind.
That’s what I see when I look at this table, with it’s many, mismatched chairs. AND, this is what I see when I look ahead to the church that Jesus is building and has called me to lead.Matt Norman
Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. To ensure that you never miss a post subscribe using the space on the right side of the screen.