Posted by: Jim Black | March 17, 2008

The Table

What kind of picture or symbol comes to mind when you think of “Christianity” or “church”? Do you think of a building with a steeple? Do you think of the cross? Do you think of that funny little fish symbol stuck to the bumper of the car in front of you? Really, what comes to mind? I think perhaps the most often neglected visual image within all of Christianity may be… a Table. Have you ever thought about that? Most church buildings have them, often right up front in very prominent positions. Often it is engraved with the words of Jesus, “Do this in remembrance of me”, reminding us of the last supper that he shared around a table with his disciples. Yet, how often do we really think about the Table as a visual representation of God’s intent for his people? I know what happens around my table at home. It’s the place where the family sits down for meals… where we talk over our day… where we connect with each other. We’ve played games around our table. We’ve hosted friends and family over and shared coffee at the table. We’ve laughed and cried at the table. Table evokes feelings of warmth, fellowship and intimacy. What, then, does this tell us about the heart of God?

God invites us to His Table! As we have been celebrating all month long… and actually as we celebrate it every Sunday… God invites us to His Table in our weekly practice of Communion. It is a reminder that God wants more than anything to know us, to have a relationship with us and to fellowship with us on a very personal level. Jesus instituted the Supper during the Passover feast in the hours before his arrest and crucifixion. This last purposeful act of Jesus has forever been memorialized in our assembling around the Table to “remember” what his sacrifice has done for us. Not only that, we also look forward to his coming again when we will enjoy a fellowship around the Table with Him that we can only imagine today! The Apostle Paul said that, “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” The Lord’s Supper is a testimony to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and it is enjoyed each week by Christians in hopeful expectation of his coming again. We rejoice in the death, burial and resurrection, proclaiming that gospel to the world. And we look forward to eating it one day with Jesus in the fullness of the Kingdom of God!

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