Monday, April 28, 2014

What's He Doing Here?

Photo Credit en.wikipedia.org
                                                                                     
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. " (Revelation 3:20)


“Wait a minute. What’s he doing here? Why is he even allowed in the room, much less at the table?”

The question had to be asked the first time the King summoned the royal family to the dining table. The true sons and daughters of the King exchanged looks, whispered back and forth, and looked curiously on the late arriving guest.

“How can he possibly deserve to be here at the King’s table," they thought silently. The King himself, knowing what they must be thinking, announced, “ Mephibosheth will always eat at my table.”

King David had made a pact with his friend Jonathan before a brutal civil war, that if anything happened to either one of them, the other would take care of his surviving family.

There was only one member of the family left. A man named Mephibosheth, who had special needs, being crippled in both his feet.

From the moment David learned of Mephibosheth, he adopted him into his family, gave him back his inheritance, and invited him to have a seat at the King’s table.

“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!” (2 Samuel 9:7)

That’s one of my favorite passages. I use it often in my speaking to demonstrate how God’s (the King’s) table includes seats for those with special needs. I use the illustration to proclaim that we are all welcome in God’s Kingdom (the table), even those with special needs. I love to use this story when speaking to churches about opening their doors and their programs to include those with special needs and disabilities.

Recently, in preparation for presiding over the Lord’s Supper at my church, I was re-reading the gospel’s account of the Lords Supper. As I read the account again, it mentions that Jesus was there with all twelve disciples. All twelve? Something struck a nerve inside me, causing me to blurt out loud.

“Wait a minute. What’s he doing here? Why is he even allowed in the room, much less at the table?

I was referring to Judas. Jesus knew full well what Judas was about to do. He even announced it as they dined around the table. Yet, Jesus still took bread and wine, blessed it, gave thanks, and served it to Judas.

Myself there is no way I could do that. I wouldn’t even have allowed Judas in the room, much less at the table.

Oh the unbelievable grace of our Lord!

I felt like the Spirit of God prompted me though to take another look around the table. As if saying, "look around again."

This time I noticed Peter. Just a few hours after the supper, Peter would deny even knowing Christ three times. Jesus had even warned Peter at the table that, “this very night- before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”- Matthew 26:35)

“Wait a minute. What’s he doing here? Why is he even allowed in the room, much less at the table?”

How in the world could Jesus allow Judas and Peter to sit as his table, and even serve them, knowing how they were going to betray him?

Then I felt the Holy Spirit thumping in my soul and prompting me, “Take one more look around the table and tell me what else you see.”

This time I looked around the Lord’s table- and I began to weep and cry.

This time I had seen myself at the Lord’s Table.

Me. With all my hang-ups, missteps, baggage, doubts, and faults.

Me. With all my sins, my issues, and my garbage in my heart.

I was sitting at the King’s table. I began to sob.

“Wait a minute. What am I doing here? Why am I even allowed in the room, much less at the table?”

God reminded me that just like Mephibosheth, I too am broken, and crippled in my own way.  We all have our own "special"needs. And like Mephibosheth, I too have been adopted into His royal family and given an inheritance.

And just like Mephibosheth, because of God’s unquenchable grace, you and I too will always have a seat at the royal table, and dine with the King. 


PRAY: "Father,your love and grace overwhelm me. Who am I that you have saved me and adopted me into your family? Thank you for your love, your grace, and your willingness to invite someone like me to your table."

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Ann! I was wrecked in the moment myself.

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  2. So true--none of us should be there that is for sure! Only by God's grace!

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  3. Amen! Only grace and only His grace.

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