Come to the Table
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Come to the Table
Do you remember who you were before you met the Lord Jesus? Reading Wenona Andress’ article, Is Mephibosheth Welcome at My Table?, caused me to revisit my own salvation. I was saved at almost 30 years of age, and I have a keen memory of my utter brokenness and lostness at the time. To the casual observer, my life might have appeared “put together” and successful, but my soul was warped with sin and filled with shame and hopelessness.
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In many ways, I was the Samaritan woman desperately thirsty for living water (see John 4:1–42). I had a “husband,” but in truth, I had had “many husbands.” The young man who prayed me into the kingdom on the streets of Toronto “read my mail,” in effect telling “me everything I’ve ever done,” (Jn 4:39 NIVUK). He related my brokenness through tears of compassion and with exhortations of the great love that the Father has for me despite my sin. I was delivered utterly from the domain of darkness and transferred … to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13–14).
I later came to understand that this young man, a carpenter from Ireland, was operating in a gift of the Holy Spirit that the Scripture calls the “word of wisdom” (see 1 Corinthians 12:8). The end result of the Samaritan woman’s story was also mine, in that my dramatic transformation, and the testimony of freedom and deliverance from shame, brought my entire adult family and most of my adult friends into the kingdom within one calendar year! Glory to God!
But to this day I keenly remember my life before Christ. As we consider the Lord’s table — for some a term used to describe the sacrament of Communion — I want to suggest that we broaden our definition of that table. The Lord’s table is both a place to which He invites us to sup with Him and receive an ongoing revelation of His deep love for us, and also an expression of our own tables — tables of hospitality, where we, as personal expressions of His heart and grace, welcome the lost.
I was once in a meeting during which I was struggling to connect to God’s heart in worship. At one point, the worship team began singing “His Banner Over Me,” a song by David Ruis. I had heard that song often in those years, and I was unable to fully enter into its message. In sheer desperation, I cried out to God: “Please help me to connect to You now and to worship You in Spirit and in truth! I can’t get there on my own.” Immediately, I was in a vision. In front of me was a table that stretched out to my left and to my right, as far as I could see, and Jesus was standing at the table, pulling out a chair for me. The chair was beautifully carved with my name on it and covered in subtle but intricate decoration — all of these being expressions dear to my heart. I was so undone that my Savior was pulling out a chair for me, that I cried out in the vision: “Oh no, Jesus, it is I who should be serving You!” But He responded: “This is My table. And at My table, you are My guest.”
I then noticed the table setting in front of my chair — an elaborate place setting specific to my tastes and passions. I was so engrossed in the table and décor that I did not immediately lift my gaze, but when I did, I gasped; on the other side of the table, barely yards from where I stood, there was a battlefield. And on that battlefield, the enemy was arrayed, although I could not make him out clearly. There was also the detritus of battle. Although it seems a little bit foolish now, I cried out: “Why does the enemy not rush at us and knock over the table?” I then heard a crisp snapping sound above my head. I looked up and saw a banner unfurled over the table. Jesus then said: “My love is the banner over you, and your enemy can never touch you when you are in My love and at My table.”
Here the vision ended. I’m sure you can see the parallels to both Psalm 23:5 and Song of Solomon 2:4. Our God sets a table for us in the very presence of our enemies. He invites us to His banqueting table, and His banner over us is love.
Over the years, I have been reminded of this table, and the memory has ministered to me in different ways. In this Passover and Easter season, two things stand out. First, the Holy Spirit says to me daily: “Come and meet Me at My table. That place is open for you always. You can come whenever you want to be with Me, and there I will serve you.”
Second, as I respond and sit with the Lord in this place at the table, He also speaks to me about the fact that His table is open to all. The length of this table has no beginning and no end, and His desire is that none should perish (see 2 Peter 3:9).
Wenona’s article challenges us with the idea of hospitality by asking us, in essence: With whom are we willing to fellowship? Are there some who are already welcome at our table, while others would first have to change in order to be accepted by us, Jesus’ representatives on earth, before they can sit with us?
But Jesus is not like us. He sat with tax collectors and sinners, drawing the rebuke of the religious officials of His day. He did not wait for those “undesirables” to come to Him. He did not wait for them to first get “clean,” but instead He brought His clean to them (see Matthew 9:10–17, Mark 2:15–22, Luke 5:29–39).
At a women’s conference several years ago, I heard the testimony of a woman named Joy Clarke. She and her husband, Ace, had been in a biker gang. She described her defiling initiation at the hands of the gang leaders, their perverse and drug-hazed existence, and the sovereign way that God brought her out of all that through the kindness of a radically loving group of Baptist women in a small town. These women reached out to her with the love of God, without requiring that she change her dress or her speech, or even that she leave her immoral and broken lifestyle. They gently discipled her into the kingdom, allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify her in His way, and in His time. God moved powerfully through Joy, a gifted singer and speaker, as she then described the supernatural salvation of her boyfriend, Ace. At the time of that conference, they were in full-time ministry together: Joy as a singer-songwriter and speaker, and Ace as a fiery evangelist taking the gospel back into the biker community.
You can read a similar story of redemption in Rosaria Butterfield’s book, The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert. It is the story of a radical lesbian English professor’s journey to Christian faith through the love and hospitality of a Presbyterian pastor, his wife, and their congregation.
Are we ready for the Joys and the Aces and the Rosarias to come hungering for hope and thirsting for living water as God continues to draw broken people to Himself in this outpouring? Are we ready for the transgendered ones to arrive looking for acceptance and mercy and healing? Are we ready to minister His love to cross-dressers, the radical LGBTQ community, the addicted, all who are hungry for a Father’s love? Can we put aside preconceived notions, fears, prejudices, and sheer discomfort, to receive for the Lamb the reward of His suffering? Are we willing to make a place for them at our tables so that they can join the Lord at His table?
My prayer for us in this season is that we might first respond to the Lord’s invitation to come to His table, and there eat and drink without cost (see Isaiah 55:1–2). I believe that this is a parallel scripture to the one in the New Testament, in which Jesus invites: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”(Matthew 11:28–29 NKJV). As we come to this place, to this secret place with the Lord, we are refreshed, filled, and awed once again by His sacrifice for us. His exhortation for us to continually be filled (see Ephesians 5:18) can happen at His table, even in the face and in the midst of our enemies, and amid our trials and the distractions of daily life. He pours oil on our heads — a scriptural picture of the Holy Spirit — and He fills our cups with Himself, the Living Water that then flows out of our inmost being to a lost, broken, and dying world (see Psalm 23:5; and for a fresh take on this verse, see also The Passion Translation).
We are approaching the Passover season, which begins at sundown on April 5 and ends eight days later, on April 13. The Passover is the basis for the Church’s celebration of Communion. This was a meal that Yeshua shared with His disciples (Matthew 26:17–19). I was reminded in a prayer letter recently that Passover is a good time for special remembrance of our personal deliverance from the dominion of darkness into His glorious kingdom of light through the Lamb, and to pray that the Lamb would be revealed to all who do not know Him. For me personally, it is a time to press in and pray for the Jewish people worldwide to receive revelation that Jesus is their Passover Lamb. It is fascinating that this annual festival is, above all others, the one the Lord said marked His people Israel (Exodus 13:9).
As we enter this season, let us remember again that through the Lamb Who was slain, through His broken body and shed blood, we are utterly redeemed from sin, radically reconnected to the Father in unbroken fellowship, and fully adopted into His family. Let us come to His table in joy and gratitude, and let us reach out fearlessly to those who do not yet know Him.
Father, we come to Your table, even now, and we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. We proclaim again the cost You paid to redeem us. We declare that His blood speaks a better word than the blood of Abel — over us, over our families, over our nation, and over those who are not yet part of Your family, but who will be. Amen. Thank You for inviting us without cost to Your table. May we then invite others into fellowship with You through our own tables, stewarding the greatest testimony in history: the Lamb Who was slain to take away the sins of the world. Amen.
Are you encouraged to let God bless and open your own table? Share below to encourage others!
Lori Nicole Meed (Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Education, Special Education) is a wife, mother, and grandmother who home-schooled her now adult children. In 2004, God moved her family from Canada to the U.S., imparting His heart for the U.S. and for revival. Having walked out her own journey of freedom after being radically born again in 1992, Lori has a heart to see others set free to walk fully in their destiny. She is a leader of an inner-healing and deliverance ministry at her home church in Pennsylvania. She also gathers and equips prayer groups for the U.S. and Israel. Lori has a passion for teaching on Aliyah (the return of the Jews to Israel), the feasts of the Lord, and the rich connections of the gentile churches to Israel. She is a prayer leader on IFA’s Headline Prayer, as well as being a contributing writer. Photo Credit: Canva.
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I pray that all would not just read Psalm 23 but that “we ” would truly
own this psalm.
Psalm 23 (NLT)
MAY YOU GROW and ABOUND in all that you do.
One of my favorite words is WOW. This article just confirmed what has been our churches whole theme since the beginning of this Lenten season. The title. COME TO THE TABLE. Wish you could have heard every sermon . Began with repentance. Worship followed right along with the messages. It has been a longtime since I have experienced this kind of preparation for this most Holy season of the church. I believe it is because of where the world is right now and He has being telling many of us …people recognize the the weather and what is coming but are not recognizing my times. Again was “blown away ” and what confirmation that our shepherd at Tyler Christin Fellowship have heard what our Father has spoken to their hearts. I sent this article to each of them this morning. most sincerely, Linda
Thank you Lori for the entire article but mostly for the visual photo now in my heart of Jesus, His table and me. My prayer heart seems like a patchwork shawl of photos pulled from word pictures of prayer or scripture – they’re right there keeping me connected and protected. I’m learning and growing strong in the love of Jesus and thank my Holy Spirit for putting out the breadcrumbs that led me to IFA and today, to you.
Thanks, IFA! This is one of the most beautiful and needed articles I have read here. We need a heart for the hurting for as the Word says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” . Help us, Jesus, to daily be your hands and feet-being salt and light to a sad and dying world! Let us love the unlovable and encourage those who are lost and down.
This article is a right now word, not only to bring the lost to Christ but also to unify the Body of Christ.
Your story blessed me.
You came from Canada?
The Lord gave me a vision of one of the borders of Canada and the USA to bring me to my pastor.
My pastor was speaking at an event a message on peacemaking.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Dear Gracious Heavenly Father. we ask you to save us from the tyranny of the urgent, which often blocks out the best you have for us, to be in YOUR holy presence. We ask for our children here in United States of America, and around the world, that you would provide for us your Living Water, your Word. We need pure drinking water. we need air to breathe, without smoke and chemicals, toxins. Please save us all from corporate greed. In Jesus name we ask this, thy will be done here on earth, as you have designed in heaven. Please make us Christians instruments of your peace. Help us to give hope when day is dim and dark. We also pray for honesty and forthrightness in our elected, appointed authorities, whom you, O Lord, have caused to be in power. for Thine is the greatness, the power, and the Glory forever, Amen.
I love this! Help us Lord Jesus come to Your table for refreshment and revival! May we use Your gifts and Your life inside of us to lead others to You and the cross. May we find grace to minister to those who oppose even themselves. Oh, Father how we need You for this task that is so much greater than our human abilities. Help us to speak truth in love and with the right Spirit, Your Holy Spirit! In Jesus name!