Today’s household object is the dining table and the passage is Genesis 22:9-14, the story of Abraham and Isaac and how God provided the lamb so that Isaac was not slain on the altar.

Most churches have a table in the foyer or back of the hall for leaflets, hymn books, offering dishes and other paraphernalia associated with church life. There is also a table at the front of the hall where the bread and wine are placed when Holy Communion is shared. One table seems merely functional; the other is given special meaning because of the ritual that is represented by the bread and wine. In many churches, it is called the altar table, reminding us of the Jewish rituals of sacrifice which Christ’s death on the cross brought to an end.

The call to Abraham to sacrifice his son of promise resonates loudly with Christ’s sacrifice, the Lamb of God who by His own blood redeemed the world. Just as God spares Isaac by providing a lamb to sacrifice instead of his own son, so Christ steps in to be sacrificed so that we do not have to face God’s wrath for our sin.

Yet the Lord’s Supper was not inaugurated at a special altar, but at an ordinary dining table, reminding us that the fellowship which Christ’s death has procured for us is often sanctified through ordinary meals. It’s why we have spent time eating together as well as studying God’s word this Lent. It’s why our Good Friday service begins with a fellowship meal. As we sit, eat and chat together at a dining table, we are reminded that Easter has restored relationships to the world: our relationship with God, and our relationship with each other.