table: a place has been reserved for you

table - a place has been reserved for you - thanksgiving dinner @poetryjoy.com

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

Banquet

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.
© joylenton

Come let us worship and praise God now with gratitude in our hearts for all that He is and all He has done!

table - Jesus died to secure a place at the table for us quote (C)joylenton @poetryjoy.com

6 thoughts on “table: a place has been reserved for you

  1. I LOVE this, Joy. Reading your poem, I could imagine myself hovering and Jesus inviting me and welcoming me with joy. Oh, how I long to join that heavenly feast and to experience the fullness of joy in Jesus. Thank you for encouraging my heart. Daily Thanksgiving blessings, love, and hugs to you!

    • Oh how pleased I am to hear you could imagine yourself being invited to the banqueting table! The longing to be there or to simply experience the tangible presence of Jesus can be overwhelming at times, can’t it? What a day that will be and what joy it will produce in our satisfied hearts! Hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day, Trudy. May your weekend be blessed with peace and rest. Love and hugs to you too, dear friend! xo 💜

  2. Dear Joy,
    Oh how thankful I am that the Lord gave you words today. This stanza is especially beautiful to me:

    “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.”

    What a love beyond imagining! Like Trudy said above, I long for that day to be there with Him. But He loves us even now, and invites us in to praise Him now, joining in such sweet fellowship. I pray that I will keep my heart lifted in that true Thanksgiving with Him. Thank you Dear Friend for giving a precious depth to a Holiday for those of us across the pond. Praying for a sweet day of Praise & Thanksgiving for you also! Love & Hugs! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, when I write a poem the depth and meaning tend to escape me a little until I read it out to myself. And then I am often astonished at the way it has fallen together and what it is saying! The lines you cite here hit me afresh as I read them over again. I was struck by what they convey about the loving tenderness of the Lord. How He knows and calls us by name. How He sees the slightest shade of anxiety or fear in us and soothes them with a gesture or a word. I’m convinced there’s going to be a lot of hugging going on in heaven! A great deal of joy, smiles and laughter as well. I hope your Thanksgiving Day was sweet and blessed with a greater measure of energy and strength, and a lessening of severity of pain. Rest well, dear friend. Sending love and hugs to you too! xoxo 😊💜

  3. Joy, such a beautiful poem looking forward to the great feast we will have with our Savior and Lord! What inspiration and encouragement today! Blessings, love and hugs to you, my dear sister. xoxo

    • Amen, me too! It’s good to hear you have been inspired and encouraged here, Gayl. I hope to pop over and catch up with your posts soon. A viral infection has left me feeling more depleted than usual, and I haven’t been able to do a lot of reading because my eyes hurt too much. Blessings, love and hugs to you too, dear sister. xoxo ❤

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