Nov. 23, 2017

Dear Hyde Park Family,

As you make your final preparations to gather with loved ones for Thanksgiving, I want to share with you this poem by the poet Joy Harjo. I appreciate her use of the table as a metaphor for what holds us together, as the place where we engage the highs, lows, and complexities of our human relationships.

As I read it, I thought of the church, and the centrality of the communion table that draws all our diversity into a common experience in Christ. I think of my family meal table, where my daughters and I connect, rehash, imagine, and laugh over the daily events of life. And I think of you and your family, gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

Relationships with family members are not always easy. The ones we love the most are sometimes the ones we fight with the most. But as the poem suggests, our table, our kindred connection to one another, is both a “house in the rain, and an umbrella in the sun.”

So, read this poem and enjoy. You might even wish to use it as your table blessing for Thanksgiving. But most of all, take time to give thanks to God, and relish your connections around the tables of your life.

Perhaps the World Ends Here
Joy Harjo, 1951

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

On behalf of the clergy, staff, and lay leadership of Hyde Park United Methodist, I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

Grace and peace,

Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist

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