Preparing the Table

I am so excited to get to be a part of the leadership launch team of our new location opening of our local church.


(Notice how I used "our" as an implication of ownership. I wanted to place emphasis on this because there are many people who simply attend church...but fewer are those who step up and step in with a commitment to serve, set the table and invite guests to experience the beauty of The Church. Hear my heart...as I shared in Welcome Home! I had spent YEARS trying to find a church "home" that I could invest in, serve and build deep and meaningful relationships. I believe it was my 2nd visit, I was invited to come the next week to step in and serve on the Welcome Team. From there, I have been privileged to continually serve in multiple capacities and it's SERVING that has brought me into a great appreciation for The Church as Christ intended it to be. I've found a spiritual family that has blessed my life tremendously. I have leaders that stretch and support me continuously and blessings on blessings on blessings have resulted in my willingness to say, "What can I help with?" If you are struggling to really feel connected in your local church...my best advice is to step in to start serving!)


My Nana is truly THE most incredible hostess I've ever witnessed in my life. She puts on a family holiday or gathering like no one I've ever seen. She exhausts herself for weeks in advance in preparation for the gathering. She has every detail meticulously planned out to ensure a beautiful, inviting, lovely experience for all who enter her home. 

Ever since I was little, I was tasked with setting the table. Under her guidance, she taught me the art of a well-set table, complete with pressed linens, fine china, gold flatware, crystal glasses, candles, festive decor, fabric napkins with monogrammed "F" napkin rings, salt and pepper carefully dispersed throughout the table and of course wine ready to be poured. {C'mon, we're Italian...wine is a staple...it's even in our food!}

 

Nana's attention to detail in setting the table is so reflective of that of Jesus' heart. 

 

I can also see Proverbs 9:2-6 was written, specifically about her. {Kidding...kind of}

"She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent out her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city, "Come in with me," she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, "Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment." 

 

I learned in my Life Application Study Bible {the #1 sword I recommend to literally every person I know as I wrote in Bible Sale!}, this passage has an interesting parallel to the banquet Jesus described in The Parable of the Great Feast (Luke 14:15-24)

Jesus spoke of a man who prepared a great feast and the invited guests came back with silly excuses why they couldn't attend. So the man responded by commanding his servants to go out into the streets and alleys to invite the homeless, poor, marginalized, destitute, vulnerable, and outcasts to join in the party. 


As I have been preparing both in action and in heart for the opening of this new campus, I can't help but pray for every person in our city to be drawn to our house. I pray that every pastor, leader, and volunteer is ready with arms wide open to accept every single person in through our doors and that we as a team do an exceptional job preparing the table for each guest to come in, feel at home, be well fed with the spiritually nutritious meat of the Word of God and they will leave filled and transformed by the love of God. 

Our church goes over and BEYOND in preparing the table for every event we do. It's absolutely captivating. It's stunning. It's carefully planned, every detail. And we do it because it's a way for us to provide a space reflective of God's Kingdom. His beautiful Church on earth deserves great care in preparation for the gathering of believers and non believers alike. We care because HE cares. 

I invite you to come and join our banquet. There's a seat reserved specifically for you, whoever you are. If you're local, come join us at one of our services across the valley...Hillsong is also a global church with locations in many nations...if there's not a location near you...find a local church and visit. Check it out. You'll know HOME when you find it! 

 

Speaking of incredible preparation and design, if you're hosting a special event in the Phoenix area, you've got to check out my amazing friend Olivia with Fox and West Event Design 

 

I invite honesty here...it's a safe place...if you've been resistant to church, what has been your hesitation?