When I was young, I went to visit my best friend, a pastor’s daughter, who had recently moved away to a rural community. Each night we were instructed to set an extra plate at the dinner table. I would ask who would be joining us. My friend’s mom replied with a grin that surely someone would.
Meals at their home began with prayers. As sure as we set the table, someone occupied that place. I don’t remember who all the people were—someone from the church, someone from town, someone who just had to see the pastor, someone who had just stopped by to say hello. It didn’t matter who it was. The pastor’s home was warm and welcoming to all.
I know the pastor’s family personified what Paul wrote to the Romans (12:9-13); the pastor’s family was a loving and welcoming company of believers who taught by example.
This message was adapted from “Setting the Table for Others” by Madeline Lund that appeared in the November 2001 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.