When we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest. Let this food to us be blessed,” are we serious about that invite? I mean, do we really want Jesus to pull up a chair and join us for supper? I would think our table manners would need to be changed. More please and thank you’s, to start with. The topics of discussion might make us uncomfortable, perhaps. Would we turn off the TV and actually engage Jesus in more important matters?
Once Jesus enters our heart and home, and sits down at our table, everything breaks open, and things are not the way it seems. There is a revelation that suggests meaning beyond the moment. He invites us to be part of a more interesting, challenging world than we would have had if he had not come to the table with us.
Yesterday at worship we recalled the story of Jesus having supper in Bethany. There was a sense of foreboding in the air that evening. Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead, and instead of universal celebration, Jesus became a marked man. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. The religious authorities had Jesus on their menu!!
I said in my sermon yesterday…better pay attention when Jesus sits down for a meal! Some of his best teaching and ministry happen around the table. I’ve learned that if I want to get close to Jesus, I had better eat like Jesus. That is, I had better get comfortable with welcoming the stranger, the sinner, and the outcast…You know, the kind of people Jesus wanted to share a meal with.
Therein lies our hope. We move closer toward the cross these waning days of Lent, walking behind him, confident that he walks that way for us. Though we do not have or hold Jesus, though we do not always grasp his significance, we take heart that he comes to us, joins us at the table, reveals himself to us, and lets us adore and love him. We do not always have him; he always has us!!
Note: Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. We invite you to bring an item for the food shelf. During the procession of the palm branches, we will carry our items to a table near the pulpit. Jesus will really like that…carrying food to the table for others to eat with him.
In Christ’s name, Pastor Gary