“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Psalm 23:5
At holidays and other special occasions, I like to get out my ‘pretty’ dishes to use for our meals. By pretty ones, I am referring to the two sets of vintage dinnerware given to my husband and me from our respective families. I suppose we could use them more often, but since both of us are very sentimental, we have decided that seldom usage will ensure their longevity. We do enjoy them, but one drawback to using antique dishes is that they do not tolerate the rigors of a modern dishwasher; so, along with the special memories that come with our holiday celebrations are also remembrances of extended ‘KP’ sessions at the kitchen sink!
Although extra work is involved with creating special holiday memories, most agree that the energy expended is very much worth it. In our fast-paced, increasingly disconnected society, the times in which families can gather around the table are becoming fewer with each generation. Yet, there are few things which connect families more than actual ‘face time’ at these cherished gatherings.
Jesus is preparing a banquet for His true followers to celebrate their homecoming. As we are His Bride, the wedding feast that awaits us is likely to be quite spectacular. I have often tried to imagine that magnificent setting. In my mind, I picture the longest table I have ever seen, one stretching for miles. I also envision unique place settings and ornate name placards, carefully arranged with each individual in mind. While only my imaginations, I doubt I am wrong to assume that Jesus will ‘bar no expense’ to make this ‘welcome home’ occasion one that is beyond what any eye has seen.
All Believers will attend the grand feast Christ is preparing. He is even now setting our place. Christians all have this blessed hope; however, we also have an adversary who wants to destroy our confidence in that hope. The Devil is constantly before the throne of God hurling accusations about us, and daily devising ways to create doubts in us about our promised future. Perhaps not you, but there have been times I have succumbed to his schemes. Occasionally, when discouraged, I have allowed Satan to convince me that I am not deserving of a seat at God’s banquet table; instead, just a TV tray by myself in a far-removed corner of heaven. For these fleeting moments, he deceives me into thinking that only more deserving and holier Christians have a seat at Christ’s grand wedding table.
Satan is a liar and deceiver. He is also very clever because he knows that the surest way to succeed in creating doubt in any believer’s heart is to do so during times in which they are tired, discouraged or weak. Those vulnerable periods are the times that he pounces on us like a ravenous wolf to its prey. As I said, I have unfortunately at times fallen prey by doubting that God wants me around Him in heaven. I fall for the lie that somehow my right to have a special seat at His table, and have one of those name placards just for me, is a result of my self-efforts and good deeds rather than what Christ has already done on my behalf.
Nothing could be further from the Truth. Even though the deceiver of the brethren would have us believe otherwise, Jesus is preparing a table for us in “…the presence of my (our) enemies.” The devil shows up before God’s throne and presents his cruel accusations: Jesus just ignores him as He continues setting the table! A royal table prepared for those He loves. Because of what He has done, by dying for our sins and then rising from the dead, and not based on anything we could ever do, Jesus cleared the guilt that would have prevented us from having a place by Him. Satan knows this all too well; hence will continue to use his tricks to convince us that all we deserve is a TV tray apart from our loving Savior in heaven.
Jesus alone is Worthy and we do not earn our way to heaven. All that is required of us to sit with Him at that heavenly feast is to make Him Lord of our lives. He will sit at the Head of the table, a well-deserved place of Honor. However, He will welcome all of His children to pull up seats at the table. As to whether there will be any TV trays in heaven, though, Jesus tossed those out the moment He burst forth from the grave, leaving behind an empty tomb. At His table, there are no TV trays allowed!
Addendum: As I was putting away the dishes used for one of the photos above, the tablecloth slid causing my pretty vase to fall to the floor and shatter. It is obvious who was behind that ploy! No worries though-it is only a vase. I pray that God will set one far more beautiful for me at my seat at His heavenly table and fill it with roses instead!