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Two Tables

There are two important tables in my life.  The Lord's Table and our Dining Room Table.  And not necessarily in that order.

I'm Altar Guild Crew Leader this week so the work and coordination which comes with that makes the Lord's Table important in more ways than one.  At Grace, great care and reverence is given to preparing our altars for the liturgies and services during the course of any Sunday or weekday.  Today was odd because strange things kept happening.  The 7:30 a.m. service itself was uneventful, however the amount of wafers and wine set out for the 9:00 a.m. service were off.  Only after the fact did I realize my folks after 7:30 a.m. reset the altar for 9 a.m. using the pre-made packet for 11:15 a.m.  (The packets assembled Saturday include all the things necessary to re-build the Eucharistic 'stack' after each Sunday service; they contain a clean corporal and additional purificators, wafers, count cards, etc. as well as all the other small linens used).  The rector, who was the primary celebrant today, said we had too many wafers and too much wine for 9:00 a.m.  Hmmm.  Only then did I realize the 11:15 packet was missing and the 9 a.m. packet was still on the sacristy island - after the 9 a.m. service.  Okay.  Mystery solved.  But as my crew re-setting for 11:15 a.m. was finishing up, I realized folks were pulling things out of drawers rather than using the packet contents.  Okay.  No problem.  So after 11:15 a.m. as we readied the altar for 5 p.m., the Nave filled with marauding kids arriving for acolyte training - a refresher me thinks scheduled before everyone is 'on' for Holy Week.  I found myself dodging young people inside the railing at the high altar space as I checked everything before leaving.  In my haste and confusion, I neglected to see the wrong sized ciborium was set out on the credence shelf.  Thankfully, another Guild member (one of the other men) who'd be working with the acolytes called me at home to ask about it.  I admitted my error and he agreed to change it out for me. 

I am usually very meticulous in checking everything closely and changing things as needed.  This may have been a lesson of sorts for me to not worry so much about it.  The church itself withstood all the anomalies, and the liturgies were celebrated.  Anyway, the teaching moment with two trainees and another guild member regarding vestments was fun, and I didn't bring any small linens home to iron them here because I got them all done at this church before leaving.

Well, the other table near and dear to me, and in some ways, the more important of the two, is our dining room table.  Three weeks ago yesterday, Heart Of My Heart and I moved furniture around in the living room and actually uncovered our dining room table.  It's a dining room table which actually sits in one corner of our living room.  When we cleared it off, I made a sign which in no uncertain terms says 'people eat here - don't put your s&%@ here'.  So please allow me a brief sense of satisfaction when I say the table has remain unencumbered by junk and we have used the table for meals the last three weeks rather than sit in the TV room with plates in our laps.  Not only for our meals, but also when we entertained three young college men last weekend when Marshall University's Chamber Choir came touring to Grace.  Tonight as we concluded dinner and chatted over another glass of wine, I realized dinner has become a wonderful time for us to visit with one another.  This was another good lesson for me, and us, as we approach the next chapter in our life with seminary.  

These two tables are for sustenance and fellowship.  I appreciate them both, and most especially the people whom I meet around them.  Thank you, God.