Recently I realized what I like best in a TV show or a movie are “dinner table scenes”. From Firefly to Downton Abbey to my present obsession with Blue Bloods, I love people gathered at table, talking, telling stories, laughing, discussing “issues of the day”, and just sharing food and time together. This obviously could relate to a whole thing about Jesus and table fellowship but I’m not really going there. Regardless I just like it. I like gathering with friends and family at table too, but of course in real life there is always the worry of something going wrong: an actual argument breaking out, or an actual social misstep or not enough food or bad food. This too could be a sermon illustration sort of thing — compare/contrast with Martha worrying about feeding Jesus and the group. But I’m not going there either. I worry too much is about all that is needed to say.
In fiction, dinner table scenes can be all too brief, a mere break in the action, a breather from the point of the story — solving a crime, or committing a crime, falling in love, or whatever the fiction is about.
I think hope pray cherish the thought that when the Kingdom comes, when God unites new Heaven and new Earth — dinner table scenes will be the whole story. Who ever we’re seated next to, however it works, however literal or metaphoric, I hope that in some transformed way we still have the joys of cooking, tasting, sharing, and talking and storytelling and in a way so full of joy and peace and a richness of meaning that all worry and fear is gone. The “dinner table” will be the story. The dinner table, minus the worry, is my idea of heaven!