Guest Blogger: Rev. Rebecca Innerst


At the Passover meal, Jewish families around the world pour an extra drink or set an extra place at the table for the prophet Elijah, in hopes he will return and usher in a new messianic age.

In early Christianity, a similar tradition emerged when a “Christ plate” was set on the table to welcome any stranger as the presence of Christ himself.

Jesus is preparing to send the disciples out on an incredible mission.  They are to teach, to heal, and to welcome everyone.  They, in essence, are to set out the “Christ plate” wherever they travel.  And Jesus encourages them with words of hospitality, welcome and reward.

In this parable of the sheep and the goats, Christ promises that we all will be sharing in an eternal reward when we set out the “Christ plate” for all.

“I’m telling the solemn truth:  Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me – you failed to do it to me.” 

– The Message, Matthew 25: 45

Lakeside Chautauqua welcomes so many families to shores of Lake Erie.  In what ways are you setting out the “Christ plate” for those who visit Lakeside? With an open ear, have you stopped to listen to others?

This week, place an extra plate on your table.  Around the dinner table, discuss ways you offered others the “Christ plate” during the day.  Make a list of ways and share it on The Front Porch!