I am one to believe that when JESUS asks you to show up, what better place to do that than around a table! If you think about it, people have been gathering around tables for centuries. It is a place to spend time with one another and gathering people together around a table gives them a place to belong.
JESUS is our example when HE gathered the disciples around the table for the Last Supper:
MATTHEW 26:20 “WHEN IT WAS EVENING, HE RECLINED AT THE TABLE WITH THE TWELVE.”
Not only that, GOD views the table as an important place. Look at what it says in Exodus 25:30 where GOD gives specific instructions for the Holy Tent including the Ark, the Table and the Lampstand…….
“ON THIS TABLE PUT THE BREAD THAT SHOWS YOU ARE IN MY PRESENCE SO THAT IT IS ALWAYS THERE IN FRONT OF ME.” (NCV)
The ESV version says it like this: “AND YOU SHALL SET THE BREAD OF THE PRESENCE ON THE TABLE BEFORE ME REGULARLY.”
Showing up to break bread with someone or with a group means something holy and sacred. I think we take our tables for granted. When we are show up with JESUS, we are taking the time to show someone that they matter. It can be as easy as saying my favorite line: “hey, want to meet me for coffee?”
There is an old Irish Proverb that goes like this:
“it is in the shelter of each other that people live.”
Anything done in HIS name requires some type of cost…….a cost of time, money or effort. We live in the shelter of our LORD’S hand, why can’t we be a shelter for others? When you are dealing with HIS children, you are dealing in matters of eternity. And what better place to do that, but around a table. JESUS meets us there, taking us by the hand and says: “show up for ME.”
I am currently reading an amazing book called “The Turquoise Table.” The author shares her idea of getting to know her neighbors, just by placing a picnic table that she painted turquoise, in her front yard under a big shade tree. The around the table stories told in the book are both convicting and encouraging. What a wonderful way to love your neighbors!
If we are to follow JESUS in obedience we will spend much time at tables of all kinds and shapes and with all kinds and personalities and backgrounds of people.
THINK ON THIS: JESUS made HIS most impact and showed us HIS profound love for HIS disciples in a very important meeting around a table long ago……..
“MATTHEW 26:26 “NOW AS THEY WERE EATING, JESUS TOOK BREAD, AND AFTER BLESSING IT BROKE IT AND GAVE IT TO THE DISCIPLES AND SAID: TAKE EAT; THIS IS MY BODY.”
I would think at that moment, they were quite confused with HIS analogy of bread and HIS body, but here we are so many centuries later still honoring that blessed time.
Showing up at the table, allows each of us the GOD-given opportunity to show someone compassion and love. We can be authentic as we look into the eyes of the soul across from us. If we are too busy with our own plans and schedules, we don’t see the needs of those around us and we never show up. So, free up some time this week for someone. Invite them to the table of grace with you.
Often I sit and wonder: who LORD can I invite? I know HE wants me to show up, but often I don’t know for whom! But that is ok…….showing up is all HE asks me to do.
Don’t wait for someone to invite you……be the one to extend your hand at the table. Come to the table for JESUS. Invite a neighbor, a friend or even a stranger today. Extend your hand of grace in a simple but profound way. If you show up, JESUS will too!
COLOSSIANS: 3:12 “PUT ON THEN, AS GOD’S CHOSEN ONES, HOLY AND BELOVED, COMPASSIONATE HEARTS, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, MEEKNESS, AND PATIENCE……..”