Two of the grade levels at my school, were planning a Groundhog Day luncheon. It’s just a fun reason to do a potluck on a Friday. Like most pot lucks, everyone was invited to bring a dish to share and they were nice enough to include those of us who work in the office.
When I first saw the invitation, I got excited. It’s always fun to try new dishes and to participate in a feast of sorts. But, as the week wore on, I found myself not feeling very well and fighting off some of the many germs that are floating around an elementary school this cold and flu season.
By Thursday afternoon, I had forgotten to sign up for anything or shop for anything and my parents were delivering their pampered pups for an extended visit, right after work, so I didn’t have time to go to the store and I was exhausted. I made the decision not to participate. After all, I had nothing to contribute.
Now, I have to say, that I work with some of the sweetest, most gracious women on the planet. They wouldn’t have thought twice about me not contributing anything. They would have welcomed me to sit down and eat with them anyway. The hang-up was completely mine.
When one of my front office co-workers inquired about what we could bring, they said they were covered. But, she persisted. There had to be something. They did say they could use some drinks and plates.
She said she could do some drinks and another lady said she could as well. Then she looked at me and asked if I had any paper plates at home. I was pretty sure I did. She instructed me to bring them.
When I got home and looked in my cabinet, I had almost an entire pack of paper plates.
I can’t tell you the gratitude that washed over me when I saw them. I did have something to contribute after all, no matter how small it seemed and a tiny thought began to grow.
Those plates reminded me that we are always invited to the table with Christ. Some of us will go with platters heaping over with gifts, talents, love and joy. Some of us come with just a little to share. Some of us come empty handed because the world has has stripped us of all we have to give.
But, the beautiful truth is that we are all welcome. There’s always plenty of grace, love and mercy to pass around, no matter what we have when we arrive. And in the end, when we all come to the table together, we feed each other and no one leaves hungry.
A school luncheon reminded me that Christ welcomes us just as we are. When we choose to miss the banquet, the hang-up is ours. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!