A Place at the Table: Days 1-10

Our journey begins!

The above video is the first session of the A Place at the Table companion DVD. If you don’t yet have it I highly recommend ordering it. It’s perfect for small groups or even family or personal study. This is the only session that Chris Seay has made available on his Vimeo account, so future weekly posts won’t have the extended video presentation.

From here on out the book is basically a daily devotional that will guide you through your fast. I’ll create a new post each week (or so) that includes a brief summary of each day’s reading along with a few words from Chris.

I’m really looking forward to what the next 40 days has for us all. I also want you to know that I’m praying for each of you. May God bless you on your journey.


15 thoughts on “A Place at the Table: Days 1-10

  1. Day 1 Video: http://vimeo.com/34576649

    “A journey is like a marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think that you can control it.” – John Steinbeck

    We begin our journey by thinking about matters of addiction and slavery. Chris points to the story in Egypt when Pharaoh decrees that all Israelite baby boys are to be thrown into the Nile and killed. Most parents, as painful as it had to have been, offered no resistance and complied with Pharaoh’s orders. Except for one, Moses’ mother. They were slaves, desiring to please and abusive master.

    I won’t ask you to name your addictions or areas of struggle. But I would like us to take some time and talk about this idea of spiritual slavery. How do we identify those things that we surrender to but are ultimately harmful to us? Sometimes they may be easy to spot, but what about when they’re a little further below the surface?

  2. A couple of resources from around the web…

    How Would You Define Your Relationship with Food? – A blog entry from Compassion International that touches on some of the “food relationship” issues we’ve discussed previously.

    Making the Most of Lent – YouVersion is a great Bible app with a ton of reading plans and other resources. This blog entry offers some practical advice for your Lenten observances as well as some custom reading plans.

  3. Day 2 Video: http://vimeo.com/34576704

    “I am a slave. I am a slave to my job, my fears, my cravings, my beloved possessions, my technological gadgets, my dreams for the future, and my sense of well-being that comes from the approval of other people. I need an exodus. We all do.” – Chris Seay

    Do you have any fear in leading your own exodus? What could prevent you from being successful? What promises did God make Moses in the example in today’s reading?

  4. I think the biggest fear in any exodus is the fear of failure. I think at the core of his excuses, that might have been Moses’ fear… what if I can’t do it?!?

    I love that when Moses says, “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Ex 3:11) And God kind of side steps the actual question and instead replies “I will be with you.”

    It’s almost as if God says, “Really? Who are YOU? Well, actually YOU are a nobody, but I don’t really care about that. What matters is I’m going with you and it WILL succeed! What reassurance there is in knowing that there’s no need for fear of failure (or anything else) as the exodus that’s beginning in my life takes place, because all that matters is that God is with me… and that will not change no matter what the outcome of these next 6 weeks.

  5. Day 3 Video: http://vimeo.com/34576764

    “… seeking power as its own reward is literally a fool’s errand. But using the considerable power every Westerner already enjoys for the sake of the poor is both righteous and life-changing – for us and for the poor.”

    “When entire churches begin to feel a truly familial connection with the least of these, the world will never be the same.”

    Chris says that all Westerners already enjoy “considerable power” which begs the question; What type of power is he talking about? Our finances? Our global influence? And how does this compare on an individual vs. collective basis?

    He also seems to imply that churches can play a pivotal role in bringing about change. What prevents churches from actually doing this?

  6. In today’s (Day 4) devotion I was struck by a couple things in the middle of the passage. In verse 10 where, even after the signs Moses is saying , “I’m not enough” and God basically responds with, “No, but I am!”.

    Then even when Moses continues to argue God says, “Okay, I’ll send Aaron with you WHO IS ALREADY ON HIS WAY TO MEET YOU.”. Already on his way. What an amazing God we serve… Patient and understanding even in the midst of his frustration and anger. For some reason in also reminds me of Esther where Mordecai tells here that if she doesn’t step up rescue will come from somewhere else but who knows that she may have been raised up for such a time as this.

    God’s gunna do whatever he needs to do, but he often (even when it makes no sense at all) invites us into the story giving us everything we need to accomplish his plan. Powerful stuff!

    1. It’s always amazing to me when I consider the times in my life that God has answered a prayer of mine. And then when I think about the chain of events that lead up to the culmination of that prayer being answered, I realized that so many of the pieces were put into motion long before I even knew to ask.

      What an amazing God indeed.

  7. Day 4 Video: http://vimeo.com/34576806

    Today Chris shared two stories of people who had to overcome the voice of doubt in order for their own voice to be heard.

    Are you experiencing any doubt that you will be able to finish the fast that you have started? What comfort do you take away from the story of Moses? Or even that of Nina Simone?

    Speaking of Nina Simone, here’s a live rendition of her most famous Civil Rights era song. Apologies if the title is offensive. I just think it’s interesting to listen to this song in light of what Chris said about her lacking self-confidence. It sure doesn’t show when she’s using her voice for a purpose. The song was banned throughout much of the South. There’s some fascinating history about the song here.

    I pray you find your voice.

  8. Day 5 Video: http://vimeo.com/34576860

    “God has given you 86,400 seconds today – use as many of them as possible to say thanks.” – Chris Seay

    You know, it’s funny. After Adam and Eve feel in the garden of Eden God cursed the land saying:

    “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
    and have eaten of the tree
    of which I commanded you,
    ‘You shall not eat of it,’
    cursed is the ground because of you;
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
    thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.
    By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
    till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
    for you are dust,
    and pto dust you shall return.”
    – Genesis 3:17-19

    But for many of us, especially myself, this does not reflect reality for us today. The truth of the matter is that I don’t have to sweat very much to acquire the food I eat. Even in the work that I do to earn the money I use to buy groceries, it isn’t particularly strenuous on my body. It is all provided for me by the work of others, by other people’s sweat.

    I’ve never really considered that, to at least some extent anyway, many of us have transferred the curse of hard labor being required to produce food to others. And in many cases those others are the world’s poor, “the least of these,” even children and widows.

    How do we “say thanks” to God in the midst of this reality for his provision? When we’ve done so little actual work/i> ourselves to put food on our tables, how do we show gratitude for what God has done? Does Jesus’ teaching that “whatever (we’ve) don’t to the least of these we’ve also done to (him)” come into play?

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