• First Presbyterian Church

No Kids Table Here (Welcome Mat Series 5)

Updated: May 23, 2019

by Tim Haworth

The holiday season is now officially in the rearview mirror. It’s a memory. I hope it was a good one.

When it comes to Christmas I have a lot of good memories. Every Christmas we would go to family gatherings on both sides. It was always fun to get to hang out with all the cousins at our grandparents homes. Judging from the picture of the Haworth/Smith side of the clan, I think all those grandkids were more than a little exhausting for grandma and grandpa. And don’t tell me I’m the only kid who had a mother who loved to dress her kids in matching outfits. (I can hear you laughing!!)

Each year on the Haworth/Jones side we would have a gift exchange. Everyone brings a gift that gets thrown onto piles separated by age and gender. We always hated these exchanges because my country cousins NEVER had toy gifts. Most of the time I would end up with a pocketknife or a hammer or screwdriver. Practical yes. But knives and tools were not my thing in grade school.

The highlight for me was the giant family dinners we would have. These dinners were always potlucks and we had some darn good cooks on both sides of the family. We would all load up our plates and head to the table. The adults would go to their table and the youngest among us (including me) would be consigned to the “kids’ table”. The kids table was a total downgrade and we knew it. While the adults sat on cushioned chairs at a real table with china plates, silverware, tablecloth and sometimes candles, we were seated on folding chairs at a card table that was set up in another room or the basement. Kids table guests ate off Chinette paper plates with plastic cutlery and drank out of red solo cups. We couldn’t wait for the day when we would be big enough to finally get to sit at the adult table.

As fate would have it, I never did make it to the adult table. As the third youngest grandchild on both sides of the family it just wasn’t going to happen. I will forever be a kids table person.

There is one place where I have never been assigned to a kids table – my church. When the church invites people to come to the table – God’s table – everyone is welcome. There are no restrictions here. God doesn’t have a separate table for “the kids” of the faith – people who may feel “less than” in comparison to others. In God’s eyes we are all equal. The communion table is open to all who wish to receive. There is room for everyone regardless of their age, the color of their skin or who they choose to love.

I hope the next time we offer communion at our church that you will feel drawn to join us at God’s table that is big enough for everyone who chooses to partake.

Happy 2019 everyone!!

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