The Table seeks to be an authentic community of Christ followers that nurtures wholeness, practices hospitality, and fosters creative participatory worship while engaging the Biblical narrative.
Much of Jesus’ ministry, both before and after his resurrection, took place at the table with his disciples, religious leaders, and many others. Most striking is how “wildly inclusive” he was in the companions he chose. When Jesus ate and drank with “sinners,” he did so with clear intent to extend shalom to outsiders. When he fed the hungry, he demonstrated the very present goodness and justice of the reign of God. Jesus’ table practices were inseparably linked with his mission to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight for the blind. The early church continued Jesus’ table practices in their community gatherings, frequently “breaking bread” together, welcoming outsiders who were drawn to the goodness of life in Christ. And as they participated around the Lord’s Table, they remembered Jesus’ death and celebrated his living presence made known to them in “the breaking of the bread.”
As an emerging Mennonite church in Harrisonburg, we want to continue to learn from Jesus’ table practices. And so we confess this faith:
We hear and know through the Scriptures, the witness of God’s people, and the Holy Spirit—
- that God loves the world and created it good;
- that the world is infested with evil that traps, deceives, kills and destroys;
- that God in Jesus Christ acted decisively to deliver us from evil;
- that through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, God¹s salvation became available for the whole world, a salvation intent on restoring goodness in all of God’s realm;
- that through confession of faith, believers’ baptism and the indwelling Holy Spirit we are birthed into new life as adopted children in God’s family;
- that this new family, the church, is God’s way of showing the character of God’s salvation—the joy, love, unity, peace, hope and justice that God desires for all humankind;
- that as children of God, we become disciples and friends of Jesus who turn from serving ourselves to serve God in the world.
As we taste and see that God is good, we join Jesus in welcoming others to his table, to the fellowship of his friends.