The table is bigger than we imagine it to be.
I watched the Father of the Bride Part III (ish) video yesterday. It’s a short reunion video that the original cast did to raise money for World Central Kitchen. Somewhere in the first few minutes, the dad, George Banks played by Steve Martin, talks about the math he has done trying to figure out how the whole family can sit down and eat a meal together. He imagines that with six feet of social distancing the table would be so big he’d have to buy the house next door to make it work. If you remember these old movies at all, family time is VERY important to the dad.
I found it touching that the character was trying so hard to calculate how to build a table big enough to fit not only the family but also adhere to the stringent guidelines of 2020.
Of course, it is just a movie…
It did make me think, however, about tables. The tables we eat at, the tables we make decisions at, the tables we dialogue and debate at. In history, many of these tables have been limited in various ways. But maybe, just maybe there is more room at them than we imagine there can be. After all, there is boundless room at God’s table.
To me, the readings today are a reminder that God has a place at the table for everyone. His message in the Gospel is a reminder that those welcomed at God’s table are not necessarily just the usual suspects, the Chief priests and elders, to which Jesus is directing this parable.
The Kingdom of God is far more expansive than that. Like George Banks, God is constantly adding space to the table so his entire family can fit and be safe and loved.
So why can’t we do the same?
My prayer this week is that we all find a little more room in our hearts for others, room for those who challenge us to see a more expansive vision of what the world could be.
There is no better time than now.