November From the Minister

At what table will you sit this year?
Who will be present and who will be absent, by death, or divorce, or by distance?
Who will be kept away by old anger, new prejudice or pain?
Who will be welcomed home, returning?

Who will be present, but only physically, and who will be physically missing,
but fully there in memory, beloved and lively, as if they were seated beside you?
Think on empty chairs, and high chairs, long ago children and still to come children,
all the way forward and all the way back.
Who will be present at your welcome table?

Perhaps you will be alone this year, maybe lonesome, maybe not.
And what will you have?
Old recipes on heirloom plates, or maybe just something quietly reheated,
something simple, but sufficient.

Wherever you are, whoever is there, may you sit at a table set with care.
May there be laid upon it food ample enough to nourish your body for the next several hours.
By grace and by your will,
may you make something worthy of the energy it produces in your cells.
Perhaps that thing will be a prayer, whispered while you wash the dishes,
simple but sufficient.

May there be time to ponder abundance, which is everywhere,
and ponder poverty of spirit, which is everywhere,
and poverty in general, which is everywhere.

Simple or extravagant, may yours be a blessed feast.
May love be a guest at your table, invited there by you, and nourished there by you,
and present there, for you.
May you choose to eat and choose to dwell in thankfulness,
and may this day be but one instance of that choosing.

And may you know deeply, that like the food on the plate,
like the sun in the sky and the frost that brings sleep to the fields,
like everything that comes from mystery,
you are yourself a good gift, and worthy of blessing, worthy of love.