In Search of a Roundtable

Concerning the why
and how
and what
and who of ministry,
one image keeps surfacing:
A table that is round.

It will take some sawing to be roundtabled,
some redefining and redesigning
Such redoing and rebirthing of narrowlong Churching
can painful be for people and tables

But so was the cross,
a painful too table of giving and yes
And from such death comes life,
from such dying comes rising,
in search of roundtabling
And what would roundtable Churching mean?

It would mean no diasing & throning,
for but one King is there,
He was a footwasher, at table no less…
For at narrowlong tables,
servant and mirror
became picture framed and centers of attention

And crosses became but gilded ornaments
on bare stone walls
in buildings used but once a week only
But the times and the tables are changing and rearranging

And what of narrowlong table ministers,
when they confront a roundtable people,
after years of working up the table
(as in ‘up the ladder’)
to finally sit at its head,
only to discover
that the table has turned around???
Continued rarified air will only isolate
for there are no people there,
only roles

They must be loved into roundness,
where apart is spelled a part
and the call is to the gathering
For God has called a People,
not ‘them and us’
“Them and us’ are unable to gather around,
for at a roundtable, there are no sides
And ALL are invited to wholeness and to food.

At one time
Our narrowing churches
Were built to resemble the Cross
But it does no good
For building to do so,
If lives do not.
Round tabling means
No preferred seating,
No first and last,
No better, and no corners
For the “least of these”.

Roundtabling means no preferred seating,
no first & last,
no better,
no corners for ‘the least of these’
Roundtabling means being with,
a part of,
together,
and one
It means room for the Spirit and gifts
and disturbing profound peace for all.

And it is we in the present
who are mixing and kneading the dough for the future.
We can no longer prepare for the past.
To be Church,
And if He calls for other than a round table
We are bound to follow.
Leaving the sawdust
And chips, designs and redesigns
Behind, in search of and in presence of
The Kingdom
That is His and not ours.

– by Chuck Lathrop

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