2016’s INVITATION

Scattered on my kitchen table today is real personal mail delivered to our home this past December, including a rich variety of photographs and stories from friends. What treasures!  Funny thing is – I know how easy it is to hastily skim right past these gifts in the fray of Christmas schedules.   I remember the day a certain envelope arrived. I instantly recognized Allegra’s handwriting in the address.  I love reading her letters because she always includes a list of the books she read in the past year. She’s a thinker with an insatiable appetite for knowledge and insight.  But she and her husband Jerry are also lovers of people.

Here’s a snippet of their Christmas letter, the portion describing their “ordinary activities:”

“Every other Friday evening a young couple join Jerry and me here for dinner, every other Saturday evening we meet with friends for thought-provoking discussions, and every other Sunday evenings we eat dinner with four other couples from our church and talk, among other things, about that morning’s sermon.”

Hmm. Ordinary activities…. Ordinary days…..Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays…. Time….. Rhythm…..Food…..Conversation. In the midst of life’s adventures, disappointments & pain, they prioritize relationships around their table.  Jerry and Allegra embody the Acts 2:46 DNA of the early church:  “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and generous hearts.”

I first met Jerry and Allegra just days after our wedding as we pulled our little trailer (holding 7 fondue pots) through the southwest corner of Colorado on our way to Denver. They were long time  friends of Roger’s family. And for this new bride their greeting matched the warmth of their white clapboard country house. It was our first experience of being welcomed for an overnight rest as a married couple. The next morning Jerry flipped pancakes. On that day 44 years ago it wasn’t just Bisquick and bacon I got a whiff of. I also caught the fragrance of their generous, authentic lives and I’ve never gotten over it.

Ordinary days. Ordinary practice.  Eating a meal together…..with simplicity, intentionality and expectation. What if the people of God took this ordinary practice to heart?  Welcome 2016!  May it be a bountiful year of hospitality.  Who knows—the table you share this year may be a story retold in 2060!

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “2016’s INVITATION

  1. Dear Joanne,
    Jerry called me away from finishing up the last chapter of a book about Pope Francis to read this Facebook entry (he’s on Facebook while I am not) (though he rarely checks messages–are we out in left field or what?) Anyway, we want to thank you for your very kind words which make us feel embarrassed yet grateful at the same time. When we think about hospitality these days, we think about YOU and how you have modeled that practice for years and years. We continue to be surprised by how few people invite others to their homes for ANY reason much less a meal, perhaps because people don’t realize that soup and salad are all that’s required and not a Thanksgiving feast. More people need to read your book to change their thinking!
    Anyway, we love and admire and respect you and Roger immensely, and we truly hope to drive up your way this year if there would be a time that would work for you. Let us know and we’ll make it happen.
    Love and hugs,
    Allegra and Jerry

    • Hi Allegra…..I am blessed every time the Lord reminds me of story to tell…it was fun to write this latest blog. And we would surely LOVE to have you come out sometime this year! Let’s keep in touch as we check our calendars and hopefully something will work ! You probably know from Den and Lin that we are having a Thompson reunion in June in Colorado. Should be fun!

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