3 Parts | By: Ed Young
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At ten minutes in length, this countdown clock is used to communicate the planned start time of the service for the series "The Table" to the audience.
This message opener was created to promote Ed Young's series "The Table."
August 24, 2014
The greatest meal in the world isn’t found in a five-star restaurant in the city. It isn’t a home cooked meal. It’s the Bread of Life known as Jesus Christ, and it is best served at the table known as the local church. But that table doesn’t sit idle and alone. It is surrounded by chairs.
In this foundational message by Pastor Ed Young, we discover what the chairs around the table represent. We learn what our role is at the table. And we see how this meal can transform everything in the lives of people who are sitting in those chairs.
What’s up Fellowship Church? How’s everybody doing? Y’all doing OK? Let’s do a big welcome to all of our different environments. How are you guys doing? Please be seated.
ILLUS: You know, a while back I got in touch with my feminine side and traveled with Lisa to Canton, Texas. Canton, Texas is the home of the largest flea market in the world. I don't know if you’ve ever been there or not, guys, but the demographics are pretty crazy, 99% female to about 1% male. And the guys who are there, I think most of them are in the dog house. That’s why they went to Canton accompanying their wives or girlfriends, whatever.
Anyway, while in Canton, Texas Lisa and I had done some shopping for a while. And the people watching is just ridiculous. Frenzied females pushing shopping carts at a NASCAR-type pace in triple-degree Texas heat, back and forth, looking at all the different knick-knacks, and all the crapola and all the chochkies that, you know, that people, well that women enjoy shopping for, hunting for. Guys, it’s the way they hunt. Women hunt. They’re better hunters than we are. So I’m watching this and looking at people and after a while we got hungry, really hungry. So I said,
“Honey, let’s stop and get something to eat.” So we found a food court. “Food court” – I put that in air quotes, food court which was basically several picnic tables creatively arranged in the shade. We ordered some chicken sandwiches, sat down at the picnic table with several other patrons, and began to munch on our chicken sandwiches. After a while we just relaxed, eating our sandwiches, watching all the people, hunks of humanity pass by. And then a lady came up to our table, obviously from the chicken restaurant, wearing the chicken restaurant’s uniform. She had her tray with her. There were samples of the chicken sandwiches we were already eating. She began to try to serve those to us and we said, no thank you. Then we watched her serve the other people, who obviously were eating the chicken sandwiches from her restaurant, the samples, and they said no thank you. Lisa turned to me and she said something that I’ll never forget. Brilliant. She goes,
“Ed, isn’t that hilarious? All that girl has to do from the chicken restaurant is walk about 20 feet out from the shade into the heat, serve the samples of the chicken sandwiches to hunks of humanity who are filing by, drawing them to the chicken restaurant, and the whole thing would just explode, wouldn’t it?” And I thought, wow, you’re right!
Then I began to think about it. I said, “That’s the problem with so many churches. That’s the problem, Lisa, with so many followers of Christ. We’re content to hang out in the shade with the picnic people, we’re content to feed the already-full samples of the Savior instead of making sure they’re fed, leaving the shade, walking out into the heat, braving the elements, and serving the Bread of Life (John 6:35) to hungry hunks of humanity who are passing by.”
August 31, 2014
The church is a table where people come to get fed. It’s where we come to sit and to learn. But we aren’t designed to just sit in one chair for the rest of our lives.
In this message by Pastor Ed Young, we discover what it takes to move from one chair to the next at the table. And as we learn what that process is all about, we see how changing chairs can lead us to a life we never dreamed possible!
We were just sitting at a food court in Canton, Texas eating our chicken sandwiches. We were in the shade watching masses of humanity cruise by as they were shopping, all the women, for jibbily-junk, crapola, and chochkies. We just were sitting there in the shade minding our own business. We’d just bought some sandwiches from a chicken restaurant. Suddenly we looked and a woman from the chicken restaurant was trying to serve us samples of the food we were eating. We said no, thank you. And we watched her stay in the shade and go from table to table trying to serve samples of the chicken sandwiches the people were already eating. Lisa said,
“Ed, all she has to do is get out of the shade, walk into the heat where hunks of humanity are passing by, and serve samples to the people who obviously hadn’t partaken of the food yet.” I said,
“That sounds like a lot of believers I know. It sounds like a lot of churches I know. Content to stay in the shade in their comfort, in my comfort, with the picnic people, serving food to the already full. As opposed to walking out into the heat, into the elements – or you could say Hellements – and serving the Bread of Life to people who obviously have not been fed.”
The church is a table where people come to get fed. This metaphor, table, is used throughout scripture. The psalmist said in Psalm 23, “God, you prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies.” The major and minor prophets talked about tables. Then we go to the New Testament and we see that the disciples were reclining at the table. One of the major phrases they tagged Jesus with was ‘you eat at the table with sinners.’ You’re a friend of sinners, of prostitutes, of tax collectors, of the downtrodden and depressed and disenfranchised. You’re eating with them at the table. And then we know in the book of Revelation, those of us who are followers of Christ, as we go into the next reality in Heaven we will sit down at the table, the Lamb’s table, and eat forever and ever. So the church is a table where people come to get fed.
The pastor is the leader and the feeder. I’m the dude with the food. I’m the chef. Emeril, Bobby Flay, whoever you want to say, Wolfgang. I serve the food in a creative and compelling way. Hopefully the food is served and it’s the Bible, right, the Word of God, in a nutritious way, a delicious way. And then the calories from the food give us the fuel to push away from the table and do what God wants us to do.
I read several years ago that Dallas has more restaurants per capita than almost any major city. Then I also saw in another magazine that Dallas is one of the most obese cities in America. Could there be a correlation? I’ve got to say Dallas has more spiritual restaurants than any place I’ve ever seen, and we’ve got to have more spiritual obesity than any place I’ve ever seen as well. It’s called the belt buckle of the Bible belt, yet a lot of people are so spiritually overweight that their Bible belts are on their last hole. They’re about to <ping-ping-ping> pop the buttons off. They’re pot-bellies. They’re just sitting there at the table gorging on food.
A table is a common household piece of furniture. It’s found in every restaurant in the world. But the purpose and power behind it may be much more than we realize.
In this perspective-shifting series by Pastor Ed Young, we discover that the role of the table in our lives and our place at it has the power to change everything in our lives and in our world. It all comes down to the meal we dine on; and more importantly, what we choose to do after we eat.