We moved into our current home when my daughter was only a month old. Who has time for dinner parties with a one month old? And yet, now that my family had grown, my desire to fill that new dining room was growing too. It was so deep that I just couldn’t help but search for the perfect table to fill that space.
My daughter is eight now, and from the day we bought it, when she was about 6 months old, that table has always been my favorite piece of furniture. For many years I don’t think I could have told you why. In fact, you wouldn’t have known how much I loved it, because it was often covered with laundry to be folded, or unsorted mail. It was rarely used as an actual table. When it was used, it was only for special occasions. It was, after all, a formal dining table. It was only to be used for formal things.
Then came a fresh encounter with God that changed everything. He began, little by little, to reveal to me the kingdom significance of The Table. More than any other piece of furniture in my home, that table speaks life, and love, and identity. It speaks of family, and relationship, and community. It speaks of mercy, and healing, and grace. It speaks of the things of God’s kingdom.
As God has continued to reveal these things to me, I have begun to see how important The Table is, not just to His story, but to mine, and beyond that, to my family’s story, my neighborhood’s story, and my community’s story. Because of the kingdom significance of The Table, every table on this earth has the potential to reach far beyond the limits of the home or building it resides in. And that is what The Growing Table of God is all about. More on that in a minute…
On a personal note, our table has actually become so important to our family that we recently moved it out of the dining room and into our family room. (The dining room is now a play room– with a chandelier! Fancy, huh?) The table is now right at the center of the space that our family spends time together, and it is such a blessing to have it there. We do art on it, we do school, we play games, we do breakfast and lunch and dinner, we do Bible study, and we do all things FAMILY.
Now, my table is a rectangle, but I am convinced that God’s Table, the banquet table that is being prepared for us, is a great big circle. Let me explain why. In math, it takes exactly three points that are not all part of the same line to determine a circle. Father, Spirit, Son. Three perfect and distinct points. And yet, they are one. One perfect circle. Some might argue that they are linear, but I can’t see how. They created everything together. They operate in perfect harmony and perfect community. They are perfect love and perfect unity. A line implies an ordering, but they are three in one, not one, two, and three.
A circle is perfectly continuous, no gaps, no holes, and a specific beginning and end is not determinable. If you trace a circle with your finger, you can start anywhere and there will always be some of the circle before where your finger is and there will always be circle beyond where your finger is. Our God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the One who was, and is, and is to come. He is continuous through all of time.
A circle is symmetrical. It can be rotated by any amount and it will stay the same. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. No matter how our own worldview shifts, He remains the same. Ever faithful and ever true.
For any given length around the outside of a shape (the perimeter), the circle is the shape that contains the most area for that length. Meaning, if you have a rectangle with perimeter 10, and a triangle with perimeter 10, and a trapezoid with perimeter 10, and any shape at all besides a circle, they will all cover less area than a circle with perimeter 10. Our God is a covering God. He makes the most of all things and expands beyond the limit of any other option in our life.
A circle contains infinite points. We serve an infinite God. And He has told us that there is more than enough room in His kingdom. So, it follows that His table has space for as many as would accept the invitation. Infinite space.
What is The Growing Table of God?
So, now, you might wonder, if God’s Table is infinite, what do we mean by the name The Growing Table of God? Well, this is where pictures are helpful.
Imagine that this is your family table.
As I said earlier, my table is a rectangle, but from kingdom perspective, every family table is a circle, a place of connection and unity. So, we are using a circle for this illustration. This family table is our first calling. We must place God as the centerpiece and begin to live in the reality that as a part of His family, His beloved children (Ephesians 1:5- I especially love the NLT), we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). Thus, our family tables become part of God’s Family Table.
As we walk in that truth, we are able to grow our own tables to become a larger part of God’s Table, by feasting on the abundance of His table and serving others in our neighborhood, community, city, state, province, country, and so on and so forth, from that Table, The Father’s Table. We connect those tables around us to create a larger table. Then, as we grow our tables and connect to others who are growing their tables, we start to see His Kingdom come, His Table on earth as it is in heaven.
This is why our goal at The Growing Table of God is to pour into each and every family table, and then to help those families pour into other family tables, and then connect those tables together. We long for His Table to become a reality on earth, and we imagine it looks something like this.