Words by Andre Henry, Prayer by Nick Barrett.
Thank you Isaac Bar-Jonah, Kimi Walker, Ivy Beech, Ambar Sabino, and Nick Barrett for setting this table, along with photographer Jordan Spencer, and Jesse Berger and Malcolm Wadlow for making it possible. Edited by Avery Archie. Thanks again to Thad Lolling for getting this site up and running!
From Matthew: When Marvin and I started becoming friends 14 years ago, I had no idea it would lead to the launching of The Table Setters
. But once we engaged with mission trip after mission trip, and once we had to have “the talk” time and time again (the one where we helped wealthier churches locate their Toxic Charity
, the tendency to look down on the people they believed they were helping), we realized that Jesus keeps setting tables with his disciples.
And then he tells people to go out 2 x 2, and receive the hospitality of the people they would be visiting as they traversed country to country. This was not colonialism. This was a vulnerable sharing of the good news, that Jesus had conquered death and washed us with God’s mercy and forgiveness.
And then Paul keeps telling people how to act at the table, most certainly in Romans 14, when they sit across from people with different customs and food habits. In other words: Jesus-followers ought to expect to forever be at diverse tables.
So: it’s a tragedy that Martin Luther King Jr. called out Sunday mornings as the most segregated hours in the country. What’s more: it’s not much better decades after he noticed that.
It’s definitely time for change. Marvin and I can come to your town, your school, or your church through plane, train, automobile, or video conference. We can help you plan for long haul diversity initiatives that move beyond mere tolerance. We can pray for you. We can worship with you. We can laugh with you. We can lament with you. And most importantly, we can celebrate, together, that God laments all the divisions his children have made along race, zip codes, political stripes, gender, housing status, language, and food choices. We can encourage you, from here on out, to move past those towards the day when Revelation 21 becomes a reality, where all the nations come together to praise God.