Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

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@Table w/ the Confirmands

February 25th, 2016 · No Comments · Faith and the City

It is a common icebreaker: “Name the person, living or dead, with whom you would most like to share a meal?”

Who will sit at table with you?An Australian food company recently posed this question to a group of adults. Predictably, their answers listed celebrities: Marylin Monroe, Justin Bieber, Jimi Hendrix, and Nelson Mandela.

After filming the adults, the director dismissed them. He then invited their children to sit before the cameras. Again he asked: “If you could share a meal with anyone in the world, who would it be?” As their parents watched from another room, the children—all of them—said that they would most like to have dinner with their families. Cue the waterworks!

You can watch the video here.

I love how children—in unscripted and unpretentious ways—so often point us in the direction of our better selves.

On Tuesday night, I witnessed another example of this. On Tuesday night, the Session of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church met with this year’s confirmands. These seventh and eighth graders sat at various tables in Bonnell Hall.

Then, between forkfuls of meatloaf, we began “to examine” them. The Presbyterian Church requires that the Session interview people who wish to be full members of the church. So, we asked them questions related to their confirmation studies and outreach service. We asked them about worship and the sacraments.

UnknownI even asked: “Who is God?” After thinking for a minute, one of the confirmands at my table responded, “God is the one I find when I walk into this church. I find God in the midst of all these people who have gathered to pray and try to do good. It feels like family to me.”

At this, I watched one of the elders sitting at the table dab at her eye.

For, of course, we all want to sit at table with family.

See you in worship,


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