As families gather for Thanksgiving celebrations across the pond, they come invited to the table, with no standing on ceremony. Because there is always a place at the table for loved ones, family and friends. It goes without saying.
Yet as they meet and greet, eat and feast, sometimes a ghost sits at the table with them, unable to join in the meal. A silent ghost who should be present with them but is no longer with them. It might be someone currently absent from home. It could be someone who was once a part of this loving gathering but is now missing or deceased.
As I thought about lost loved ones and those who might not be as close to their family as they want to be, making it impossible for them to join them at the table for Thanksgiving or any other meal, I remembered a time to come when a banquet feast will be held. And all are invited. You too, my friend.
Because Jesus died to secure a place at the table for us. A place to sit and eat and feast and experience a joy beyond any we have yet known or can experience. A table lovingly set with the finest of things.
A warm welcome awaits. You are expected. You and I can gain access to this banquet, this feast beyond all feasts. All we need to do to enjoy the best Thanks-giving feast ever is to say yes to the Host’s gracious invitation of sacrificial, unconditional love for us.
“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” — Song of Solomon 2:4
I didn’t stand outside like a pauper
or beg for a seat at the table, for I
was given full rights as a daughter
who felt so unworthy but grateful.
I had received a personal, gilt-edged
invitation, written by the host himself,
with a truly irresistible offer,
sealed with his own precious blood.
I hesitated, found it hard to believe
I had any right to be there, but my host
was at pains to remind me of grace and
point out his cross-marred palm scars.
Though I may have hovered, uncertain
and shy, I was drawn by his smile, his
welcoming joy, and the undeniable
warmth and love in his eyes.
His eyes shone like stars as he spoke
my name, framing me within their orbit,
embraced me hard, led me to my seat,
gently ushered me to sit and feast.
As I sat down it seemed as if the table
spread itself infinitely, with no clear
beginning or end and no boundaries,
his previous foes together as friends.
One by one, before very long, large crowds
of people had come, and I was joined by
an exuberant and wonder-filled throng, who
joyfully laughed, held hands, sang praise songs.
Come let us worship and praise God now with gratitude in our hearts for all that He is and all He has done!