As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with our loved ones, memories of the holidays with my family come to mind. We didn’t have much, but my grandmother and great grandmother who hail from the Deep South would put both their feet in a soulful, southern holiday meal. A host of aunts, uncles, and cousins would cram into my grandmother’s modest home for a family feast.
With so many adults and teens, there was not enough room at the dining table for my younger cousins and me. We sat at a small table for the children. I can remember wanting to sit next to my mother at the big table instead of at that small table. Once that good-smelling food hit my plate, I forgot all about that. Plus, my cousins kept me entertained.
But, that same feeling I had at the small table resurfaces from time to time. It’s the desire for something other than what was prepared for me. At work, I may think I’m owed an opportunity to take the lead on certain projects. When my name isn’t called, I’m disappointed and sometimes frustrated. Then I have to remind myself; I have a seat at His Table.
A SEAT JUST FOR US
Anytime we have an experience that triggers disappointment or the sense that we’ve been denied something for no good reason; we have to remember we have a seat at His Table. Anytime we’re disappointed, or we feel slighted because we didn’t get our way–no matter how noble our intentions– we must remember we have a seat at His Table.
What does His Table look like? How is it different? It’s just like Thanksgiving back in the day. At first glance, the table is smaller; the seats are tiny. But, the food was just as good at the children’s table as it was at the grown folk’s table. In fact, the serving size was just right. And so is His Table.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” (Psalm 23)
He anoints our head with oil. The perfect portion of Grace. The most divine love and multitudes of mercy. Our cup runs over. It’s like the Golden Corral of Grace, a buffet of benefits. You’ll never run out! What’s more, you don’t even have to make a reservation. Your seat was sealed that day on Calvary!
THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE
How do you know you’re seated at His Table? It takes the right perspective. We may be going through it. But, we have a seat at His Table. We may be going through a divorce, about to lose our table. But, we still have a seat at His Table. We may have a frightening diagnosis, but we have a seat at His Table. We may not have two pennies to rub together, but we have a seat at His Table. Each and every one of us has a seat. All it takes is the belief that we belong there. The confidence that as His son or daughter, every need is met before we even ask for it!
THE LAST SUPPER
There’s debate about the popular image of The Last Supper. Some scholars say given the period, and the culture, Jesus, and his disciples did not sit in chairs as we’ll do on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, they would dine at a table surrounded by couches. Guests would lie on their sides, propped up by their elbows, their feet pointing away from the table, their head closest to the food and other guests for the sake of conversation. While it makes no difference to me how they sat, it occurs to me that symbolically, that’s what it’s like when we sit at God’s Table.
You have to recline.
You have to relax.
You have to TRUST.
Christian writer and preacher Max Lucado says when we sit at God’s Table we are:
· beyond condemnation (Romans 8:1).
· a member of His kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
· We’ve been adopted (Romans 8:15).
· We have access to God at any moment (Ephesians 2:18).
· We’ll never be abandoned (Hebrews 13:5).
· We have an everlasting inheritance (1 Peter 1:4).
I wouldn’t trade that for a seat at anybody else’s table. And yet, sometimes we are angling for a different seat at somebody else’s table. We covet what others have. Our enemies, our relatives, family, or friends. We’re trying to get where somebody else is at. We’re so eager to sit at their table, to have what they have. We want to be like them. We want their job, their house, that relationship, that spouse, their car, their money, their kind of power and influence. We want to sit at their table. Ingratitude washes over us and what we have is no longer good enough.
I am not suggesting you lose your ambition. I am not suggesting you accept crumbs when God has promised you filet mignon. I’m saying that sometimes the appearance of a situation or an event can make us feel like we’re at the little table, when in fact, we are seated at His Table, the best seat in the house. It is exactly where we should be.