“Come to the table.”
That unbelievable invitation that is meant for each one of us.
An invitation extended to us by Christ himself, to join him at the table. (See The Parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14: 15-24)
Christ was very good at preparing meals. And tables.
The scriptures are replete with examples of Christ sitting with others around a table, sharing a meal together.
“You prepare a table before me…” (Psalm 23:5)
Christ invites each and every one of us to join him at the table.
During the Last Supper, Christ “took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.'” (Matthew 26: 27-28)
In this life, we each fall short of the ideal. Thankfully, because of the sacrifice and Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we have hope that through faith, repentance, and forgiveness, we can still have a place prepared for us at the “table”.
In his book “Traveling Light”, Max Lucado shares his thoughts about the shame Peter must have felt after denying Christ three times in a matter of hours.
“Is Peter the only person to do the very thing he swore he’d never do?” Max asks the reader.
We say we’ll resist temptation, but then flirt with it.
We insist we’ll be kind, but give way to anger.
We determine to be humble, but return to our pride.
Yes, it seems, we are an awful lot like Peter.
I know I am.
What surprised me was to learn that Max Lucado is, too.
Max shared an experience in the book that surprised me and had a profound affect on me. He shared that, not long ago, he made a choice that ultimately made him feel unworthy, ashamed, and embarrassed.
Shame plagued him.
He felt like a hypocrite.
He felt like a bum.
Deep down he knew that, because he shared his poor choice with God and the elders of his church, he was forgiven.
But he found it difficult to forgive himself.
He felt unworthy.
Until he remembered the Savior’s invitation to “Come to the table”.
It was only then that he let forgiveness seep into his heart.
Only then was he willing to accept the Savior’s invitation.
When Max was finally able to forgive himself, he said that “it felt good to be back at the table.”
Have you accepted the Savior’s invitation to “Come to the table”?
Or do you find yourself hesitating to accept the invitation due to feelings of unworthiness, shame, or embarrassment?
Today’s challenge is to take a few minutes for some introspection to determine what, if anything, might be keeping you from sitting at the “table”.
Do you have sins to confess, weaknesses to overcome, necessary changes to make in your life?
If so, know that you are not alone. Have the courage to take the first step today in making that confession or those necessary changes in your life.
If you have no major sins holding you back, have the courage to forgive yourself for your weaknesses, for we are not required to be perfect to sit at the “table”. The only thing that is required is that we keep trying.
We just need to keep trying.
Every effort we make will be worth it.
After all, Jesus prepares a might fine meal.
And He has a place saved just for you, and for me, and for Max, at His table.
Day 5 Challenge: Take some time for some introspection. Seek forgiveness, if needed. Forgive yourself, if needed. Accept the Savior’s invitation to “Come to the table”.
This is Day 5 of my Write 31 Days series for 2017: 31 Days to an Authentic Life.
For an index of all the posts in the series, please CLICK HERE.
This song, with its powerful lyrics, really spoke to me. Perhaps it will speak to you as well: