A Place at the Table

The upper room, a place for an intimate meal to share. Tradition merged with Truth. The host gives the guests receive. Eyes unlock a silent tongue. One face home to a crooked grin, the other composed a narrow smile. All stomachs filled, but not all heads anointed. The meal in unity shared, but the fellowship broken. The spirits move within the mortal frames, not with quiet expectation. Two would drink from the bitter cup. One a seeking friend, the other the enemy in secret.

To love one’s enemy is to give place at your table.
To share with the enemy in the bread of life though the fruits of the Spirit remain one-sided.

The Psalter’s song of old did sing,

“You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil
my cup overflows.” –Psalms 23:4 (CSB)

Hush-hush, for at the table the seat of honor given, while the lips exchange gratitude with a traitor’s kiss (Luke 22:48). The enemy will pass over the next verse of immortal blessing for a moment’s pocketed pleasantries.

Only goodness and faithful love
will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
as long as I live. –Psalm 23:6 (CSB)

The Shepherd of the Psalm is the Savior. The prepared peace is the Passover’s purpose, “Come to the table,” is the gesture, but the secrets wage war against the soul when communion lacks sincerity. Nevertheless, there remains a holy invitation to beckon the betrayer to discern his own ruin.

When one of them comes to visit,
he speaks deceitfully,
he stores up evil in his heart;
he goes out and talks.
All who hate me whisper together
about me,
they plan to harm me.
“Something awful has
overwhelmed him,
and he won’t rise again from where he lies!”
Even my friend in whom I trusted,
one who ate my bread,
has risen his heel against me.” – Psalm 41:6-9 (CSB)

Christ would do the same for everyone (John 3:16), He washed the feet of friends and the enemy’s heel.

Jesus answered him (Peter), “What I’m doing you don’t realize now, but afterward you will understand.”
“You will never wash my feet,” Peter said.
Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash you, you will have no part with me.”
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” – John 13:7-9 (CSB)

As Christ poured out the water in humble form, He drew out the timeless exchange.

“One who has bathed,” Jesus told him, “doesn’t need to wash anything except his feet, but he is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him. This is why He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Christ understood His example was necessary for a tangible grasp on what it means to “walk by faith.” See, Christ’s care to clean feet is rooted in the Old Testament idea of purity. To “walk with God” means that the heart, soul, and spirit will follow in entirety to “walk before God in the light of the living” (Psalm 56:13).

The void of the Holy Spirit is the chasm that engulfs the soul. Satan does not ask to sift those already captive to sin’s cursed grip (Luke 22:31). Judas, the enemy, committed to do what he had come for.

When Jesus had said this, he was troubled in His spirit and testified, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”…Simon Peter motioned to him (John) to find out who it was He was talking about. So he (John) leaned back against Jesus and asked him, “Lord, who is it?” – John 13:21, 24-25 (CSB)

“Judas His betrayor, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”
“You have said it,” He told him.”    – Matthew 26:25 (CSB)

Jesus replied, “He’s the one I give the piece of bread to after I have dipped it.” When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son. After Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan entered Him. So Jesus told him, “What you’re doing, do quickly.” – John 13:26-27 (CSB)

For there is one way to Life, and many ways to walk away from it. It is good to remember, one may accept the outer washing, but refuse the Rule of heart and spirit.

For either way we:
walk through the valley              Psalm 23:4
walk freely                                     Psalm 119:45
walk in the thick of danger        Psalm 138:7
walks with the wise                     Proverbs 13:20
walk humbly with your God      Micah 6:8
walk in the newness of life         Romans 6:4
walk in light                                   1 John 1:7

OR

walks in darkness                         Ecclesiastes 2:14; Isaiah 9:2; 50:10
walk in pride                                  Daniel 4:37
walk according to the                   Ephesians 2:2
course of the world
walk in unrestrained behavior   1 Peter 4:3

What motives bring you to the table?

2 thoughts on “A Place at the Table

  1. I have read the passage you wrote about so many times. I’m certain I have heard countless sermons on those very verses. Yet why do I feel like I am just now seeing it for the first time? Tears came in the middle of the reading the opening paragraph you wrote and continue as I write this response. It is the beauty of Jesus’ example and the tragedy of how common his betrayal continues to be. It gets me to the core.

    To endure to the end, loving him well by following his example. That. is a worthy calling. May it be our walk.

    Again, you have given me so much to consider. Thank you, Michelle.

    Like

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