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  • Writer's pictureitallstartsintheho

"It's not what's on the table, it's who is around the table that matters."

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

We have hosted monthly gatherings in our home for the last four years. Before the Covid pandemic, we used to host upwards of 50 plus people. Strangers who turned into friends would travel hours to join us. We even met someone who was ministering in South Africa hear about our house meetings. It was pretty wild learning how news travel so fast and so far.

Then Covid happened. Just like everyone else, we stayed pretty private. With the strict lockdown ordinances and other issues, we didn't hold any large gatherings. It's so hard not to get together, so we did have family over. We made sure we had our face masks, sanitizers, and even had gloves available. We measured temperatures and made sure always to wash our hands frequently. It was tedious but worth doing so we can connect and have quality time.

During the lockdown, we reached out and heard from those in our community that they were hurting for fellowship. As a family, we made the easy decision to set the welcome mat and table mats out again. "Breaking bread" and assembling with others is an essential part of our lives. We are designed for connection.

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." ~Acts 2:46-47 (NIV)

To find relationships in an online church can be difficult, and so is accountability. We have to be intentional and pursue one another. So instead of the open invitation for our Happy Hour gatherings (link to blog post), we invited only ten. Each time we opened up our table for food and friendship, lives were transformed. The uninterrupted time to be raw and authentic is genuinely priceless. It's a domino effect. Testimonies begin, and gratitude quickly comes right after. When the Holy Spirit is moving, there's no stopping the outcome. When one shares from a vulnerable place, then someone else picks up the baton, and it continues. Tears and laughter start, and it's hard to stop. It's so worth the time and energy when you witness the freedom and healing.

I encourage you, friends, to reach out and invite others over. Don't worry about having the perfect tablescape or the perfect food. Trust me; our house is never magazine-worthy. Yes, we clean as much as possible and fluff up the pillows, but it's far from perfect. There are many times I look at our walls and wish we could paint or renovate the house or even buy new furniture and replace the 19-year-old loved couch. But I know there are more benefits in inviting others into our space versus keeping them out.

Tip: If you're uncomfortable having people over, congregate at the park and have a picnic. Or reserve a private room at a restaurant.

Tip: With the meal, you can go all out, or you can order out. Make it or fake it. Buy a premade meal from the grocery store and put it in one of your platters. Request others to bring a dish and share the meal. Or have coffee/tea and dessert. It doesn't have to be a complete meal.

Everyone wishes to be invited. Ask the Holy Spirit who should be on your guest list. Be the host and take charge. I guarantee you the effort you invest into your time together is worth every second.

And if you're the one being invited, accept the invitation. Even if you're a homebody like me, take the opportunity to step out and receive whatever God has waiting for you. You will probably walk out more refreshed and recharged than when you walked in. Let's stay engaged.

** gathering may turn into another and then another. ☺

"This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning." ~ Hebrews 10:25 (TPT)

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