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Speaking to the Soul: At the Table

Speaking to the Soul: At the Table

Week of Proper 13, Year One

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

 

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 119:97-120 (morning) // 81, 82 (evening)
2 Samuel 9:1-13
Acts 19:1-10
Mark 8:34-9:1

The Scriptures have such a rich store of stories about table fellowship that defies all odds. In today’s first reading, David the king insists on welcoming Mephibosheth to eat at his own table for every meal. Mephibosheth is an unlikely recipient of such a royal invitation: He’s the grandson of David’s mortal enemy, and he is “lame” or “crippled” in both of his feet–a fact that would have carried a negative stigma, much as those terms do today.

Mephibosheth thinks so little of himself that he asks David in disbelief, “What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I?” He can’t see in himself what David sees. Where Mephibosheth sees himself as a dead dog, David sees him as the son of his beloved companion Jonathan, and as someone worthy of being pursued, invited, and included.

Against Mephibosheth’s protestation, David promises him, “you yourself shall eat at my table always.” David gives instructions to a household servant, “Mephibosheth shall always eat at my table.” And the Scripture confirms for us, the readers, that “Mephibosheth ate at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons.”

The king’s table is open to former enemies and accessible to those with disabilities. It’s a place where people are welcome and worthy. May our tables and altars live up to this welcome, and may we claim our place there forever as God’s children.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps  program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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