Wednesday, April 6, 2016

White Table Cloth on Sunday

Our Church leaders have been counseling us, the last few months, to honor the Sabbath better, to "raise the bar" of our Sabbath worship.  I have been wondering how to do that beyond what we all ready do.

A few weeks ago, I was prompted to look up and watch an old movie that I enjoyed years ago called "Fiddler on the Roof".  I noticed a couple things this time through that I haven't taken note of before.  First how Teviah looks up to and talks to God.  It's intimate and funny and proof of his great faith.  Second, was how his wife got ready for the Sabbath.  She cleared off the one big table, got her daughters rushing to get the table set, get the food ready and themselves cleaned up before sunset and start of Sabbath.  She whipped out the clean, white table cloth and heavy gold candlesticks and then she sang that lovely prayer for her family. Beautiful! 

In watching that, I remembered my mother doing similar things on Sunday.  She had a special table cloth, dishes and candlestick holders all of which helped set Sunday apart for us as children from the rest of the week.  I got to thinking I could do this.  For years as "empty nesters" we eat most meals at our counter sitting on stools which is very convenient and rarely do we use the dinning table. 

So, I made plans to shop for a nice, new perfectly white table cloth and to rummage around in stored things for some candlestick holders.  This would be my small way to "raise the bar" on Sunday evenings.

The following week on my shopping day, I grew tired, hungry and thirsty and just wanted to go home for the day and put off shopping for that table cloth. But as I was driving home, an impression came to pull into the parking lot of a thrift store.  I argued and kept driving.  Again I got the impression to turn into parking lot, and again I argued.  Again even stronger came the impression to stop at that store.  (all this happened in nano seconds)
Finally I did.  Went into the store thinking, now what?   I went to the linens dept and was looking through fluffy bed comforters when there, sandwiched between two of the biggest ones, was a pure white, perfect sized table cloth with no stains and no evidence of previous use, $4.00.  I did a "Teviah" thing and glanced upward and whispered...for me?    

I have been using it every Sabbath since.  We clear off the table, put that white cloth on it, and candlesticks with long tapered candles and light them and we take turns saying a prayer holding hands and then eat our now special Sabbath meal.  
Doesn't matter what the food is...could be left overs or pan cakes or lamb roast, what's important is my "sign" to God is that this meal is special and different from the rest of the week and I went to this trouble to make it special (like my mother did) because I love my God  (as she did)  and what He has done for me, for us.

 I think this to look for other ways.