Sunday, November 21, 2004

the roundtable community

A little over a week now, I had dinner with two good friends, John and Chris. It was one of the most relaxing meals that I've had in a while and we had a blast. The food was great (Olive Garden rarely has bad food, right?), the drinks were incredible (I had Diet Coke) , and the conversation and fellowship was amazing. Of course, what is better than eating Italian food with two good friends while listening to Sinatra? "When the moon hits your eye..."

We sat around the table just talking, pouring my life out to these guys who are good friends, but who are vastly different from me. They would interject advice, pithy sayings or sarcastic remarks every so often. When I finished, another began, then the other, then, I think, I talked about something else. This roundtable discussion at a rectangular table continued like this for four hours and it was...incredible!

I want to camp on the fact of our incredible differences for a while. The three of us are very, very different. Chris is of a smaller frame than Jon and I, is quiet and thoughtful, but interjects his opinion regularly and unabashedly (if not unapologetically). He calls them how he sees them. Chris is from Alabama, so his accent just adds humor to everything he says no matter how serious it is. I'm not making fun, I love his accent. He does wear shoes, though, so is he truly an Alabamian? Chris is so encouraging and funny. He is most definatelyl like the brother I never have in many ways.

John has a slightly bigger frame, a little taller, and is Hawaiian. Most people think Jon is "metro", but he is just a nice guy who has neatly trimmed nails and dresses like he was the founder of Brooks Brothers. He's one of the only guys I know that can pull off a pink shirt, a pink tie and a sweater at the same time without people thinking. I love him, though. He is thoughtful, and everything he says is so well said. He speaks and it is as if a writer or poet is speaking to us., sentence fragments and all. He could totally destroy your life and you would love him for doing it. (Not that he goes around destroying lives or anything.)

Then there's me. The tallest by 6 inches and my shoulders are about 1.5 times wider than Chris and possibly John. I'm definitely not metro, although, like I said in an earlier post, I am on the beginning wave of the "Chops" phenomenon. I am very Scottish, though, with my red beard and wide shoulders. Some are intimidated by me....others just say I'm like a teddy bear. You can be the judge of that. I usually speak my mind which usually ends up with me putting my foot in my mouth! I'm probably (read: definitely) the loudest of the group and can talk about anything and everything under the sun most days. Yet, I love listening and understanding people's worlds.

So here are the three of us (the triumverant), vastly different, yet united by one common thing: God. It's quite possible we would never have met and never become friends, yet, in Christ, we are brothers. How amazing. Three who would not mean anything to each other are now friends and brothers.

It's the miniature. We, as the church, are a body of people who are vastly different. We get on each others nerves sometimes, but we are still family. In reconciling us to God, Christ also reconciled us to each other. Where we once may have nothing in common, we now are brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. We are friends. We are a community.

We not only fellowship around a table, but we serve together, we edify each other, and we love each other. Together, we walk with God. We carry one another when the road is tough and our strength is gone. When there is a need, that need is met. All I have is ours. All you have is ours. All we have is God's. amazing!

until Christ is formed in us....


You can read what John wrote about the Roundtable Dinner at:
Smeagol Is Free : The Triune Dinner

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