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

A new identity

believe who we are in Christ ~ PJ file image

 

Letting go of our past and embracing the future can feel like a step too far.

It’s all we know. Our one certainty is where we’ve come from. Where we’re going to is another matter entirely.

Hearts quake and courage fails. It’s hard to believe for what we cannot see.

Leaving our Egypt behind to enter the Promised Land feels unsafe, dangerous even.

Questions rise to our lips ~ “What if?…” rules. Where is our ‘brave’ when we need it?

How different is it when God calls us to believe who we already are in Christ but we hang back, uncertain, doubting?

Such is the battle I’ve been facing as I attempt to live pre-approved by God.

Those dirty rags of sin and shame? They cling close as weeds, strangling hope and choking forward momentum.

Yet, we are clothed in new garments as believers in Christ.

His death and resurrection to glory paved the way for us to be arrayed in a robe of righteousness.

A Divine exchange took place at the cross ~ our sin, sorrow, shame, sickness and pain for His mercy, grace,  forgiveness, healing and restoration.

God already sees us as perfected, beautiful and whole in Christ. The hard part is seeing, accepting and believing it for ourselves.

Maybe a glimpse of the future we have in eternity will help.

Here’s a link to ‘Casting Crowns’ song, ‘Wedding Day’ which speaks of how we are the Bride of Christ, wearing white, pure and spotless in His sight.

And this is  a prayer whisper God spoke into my life recently. My hope and prayer is that it will bless and encourage you too.

What helps you to feel more secure as a new person in Christ?

Do feel free to join in the conversation below.

prayer whisper image

‘Prayer Whisper’ ~ ‘New Identity’

Let go of the shame and reproach that sit heavy on you. I have taken them from away. You are washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. My robe of righteousness covers you. It is enough, more than enough for all sin.

Do not grieve over your sin each day; consider them dead. They have been covered by grace, mercy and forgiveness. Instead, look up; look to the Son and be radiant. Bask in My Love-Light.

You wear robes fit for the child of a King. Those stinking rags of filth and sin do not fit who you are any more.

Reach out each day for My grace. Embrace your new identity in Me and clothe yourself with garments of praise and thankfulness. I have taken all reproach from you. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Pick up the mantle of mercy and wrap it close around you. Remember My loving arms encircle you at all times. There is nothing you can do to make Me love you less; and there is nothing you can do to make Me love you more.”

Linking here with Holley, Rebekah and Jennifer as we seek to encourage your heart with a word today and tell His story of love, mercy, redemption and grace

girl wearing robes fit for the child of a King ~ PJ new identity file image pin