It seems rare in today's fast paced world to actually sit down and eat a meal together with family or friends. But usually, when we do, there is a lovely place setting for us that makes us feel welcome and totally ready to enjoy the moment.
Yet there are times when we could feel uncomfortable with the company of the moment. Ex-spouses staring at us, business adversaries, that really dysfunctional aunt or uncle sitting next to us, feeling quite nervous on a first date or getting all dressed up when we don't feel so dressed up inside. We can hypothetically sit at the table and yet, feel out of place.
Just imagine the Pharisees siting with the Samaritan woman, or any of the so called sinners and tax collectors. Not much of an enjoyable meal would loom. Or, maybe one of us sitting with those of Muslim faith who are not radical yet there is an uneasiness in the air because of all the events of the current days.
Or how about the far flung notion that any of us, recovering addicts, convicts, or divorcees to name a few, might sit at the table in heaven with Jesus, Moses, Paul and Mary? How unworthy I feel thinking that I could sit in such esteemed company, but yet the Lord himself says he has given you and I a clear invitation:
In Luke 22: ...and just as my father has given me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at my table....
Talk about the ultimate place setting! You see we would never qualify to be there on the content of our flawed character, and yet the Lord would be honored to have us with him, those who were broken and lost. Just as honored as he would be to have those who we admired for their faith like Stephen, Matthew and John The Baptist to name just a few.
There might even be a Methodist, Catholic, Jew and Muslim who came to believe as well. And how could we ever feel comfortable at that table if we didn't welcome all because the Lord doesn't play favorites?
Feeling unworthy, unforgiven or just won't forgive? Pick up your fork and carry it daily to another table and invite someone you don't necessarily like to dine with you. In this way, you or I will be ready when God asks us to take a seat next to him at the table.
I can't wait to find out what a perfect meal tastes like!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.