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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jim Baldwin

Hunkered Down Homilies – At the Table

art piece with orange triangles and metal swirls

Some friends stopped by our house last week on their way home from the beach.  We were sitting in the den, catching up on family news, when the female member of the couple paused and said, “Why do you have a picture of carrots on your wall?”

As we were talking, her eyes had fallen on a piece of art from El Salvador that we had received as a gift.  We encouraged our friend to take a closer look and tell us what she saw.  Eventually, she noticed the halo above the central figure and decided that figure must be Jesus.  Then she spied the object hanging from the character on the end, and guessed that was Judas’ purse.  Finally, she concluded it was an abstract depiction of the Last Supper Jesus held with his disciples.  She was right!

During this Holy Week, I have thought again about the people symbolized in our piece of art.  Around the table with Jesus was Peter, who within hours would fiercely deny that he knew the Nazarene.  There was Judas, who would leave the dinner to sell out Jesus to a group of religious leaders eager to stop this troublemaker.  The other ten would quickly join in self-preservation and finger pointing when Jesus declared, “One of you will betray me.”  (Mark 14:18)  Before morning, each one of them would turn their back on Jesus, leaving him at the mercy of the Roman government.  Yet, here they are at the table with Jesus. 

I wonder if we were to look more closely at the figures around Jesus’ table, would we find ourselves?  Am I the one who has sold out the way of Jesus for the easier – and more lucrative – way of the world?  Am I the one who has denied having a relationship with the Savior through my words or my actions?  Am I the one hiding in the background, hoping no one questions my faith?

Remember, Jesus invited all of these to his table.  He called them his friends.  He washed their feet.  He went to the cross to die for their sins.  He told them his next meal with them would be in the Kingdom of heaven.

To borrow a phrase from singer Drew Holcomb, “dreamers and schemers” are all welcome at the table of Jesus.  That includes you.

Dr. Jim Baldwin

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