One of the musical selections chosen for the upcoming Good Friday service at our church has a simple but profoundly powerful refrain, reminding us of the reward being prepared for believers. The ending line finishes each time with “…..around the table of the King”. Since I first read these lyrics several weeks ago upon receiving the music, they have stuck with me and provided rich visual, serving as a gravitational pull in re-centering my outlook onto what all of this is about here on earth for the children of God, in the midst of our messy and complex dealings with each other.
If you are struggling right now with hurt and pain from a wrong done to you, or perhaps you are the inflictor and you just can’t seem to see past yourself and your inability to make things right, I invite you to reach beyond all of it for a few moments and just imagine......
......A seemingly endless banquet table, dressed with an artistry beyond comprehension, filled with richly delectable foods, such as heaping bowls of perfectly ripened fruits, colors of a clarity and brightness earthly eyes could not behold. A place for you is clearly marked among the multitudes of invited guests.
Everyone here is complete in their perfection – yourself included. There is nothing you hunger for in your understanding, no emotional pain throbbing to be attended to, no temptation to use others like sponges and squeeze the affirmation and life you so long for out of them. No longer is the doubt about your worth in their eyes driving your words; no longer is there any worry over the dialogue and how you might be taken advantage of, what implications there may be from your body language. There are no mind games being played amongst the guests; no more endless relational chess matches in the quests for emotional victory…..as on fallen earth.
They are in complete enjoyment of each other, and they are complete in their unfettered knowledge, worship, and amazement of the King hosting this banquet. He raises a glass….
The one now, here in this life, who you are struggling in forgiveness with, who is hurting you, or whom you seem to keep hurting – whether you are meaning to or not – imagine him/her there at this banquet with you.
In our humanness, we disappoint each other so, whether it is through unmet expectations, a basic inability to truly understand each other because our particular wirings are so different, or even out-and-out intention to harm, based on our own self-absorbed demand for life to give us what we have deceived ourselves into believing we are entitled to. We use. We abuse. We are used. We are abused. This will not ever fully disappear on this earth as it is. But we can still choose even in the midst of painful moments to take a step towards stopping the cycle. We can choose to reach beyond in faith, preparing ourselves for the banquet by allowing its hope to inform and direct our vision of others now.
Perhaps one day, while around the table of the King, you will look across and see the one whom you are now struggling with, and you will catch his eye and you can share a smile in knowing that in your release and your brokenness, in your willingness to allow the King to be the King in this relationship and trust Him with your pain and misunderstandings and wellbeing, you can for eternity share with this person that the King received the glory and honor He was due, and you are now enjoying the fruits as the bowls are passed, and you are linked in the most glorious of ways in what you have laid down for Him.
Ask for the longing in your heart to grow to see this person at the table of the King with you.
Ask for the faith to know that you are desired at the table, too.
Ask for the longing to see the joy in the King’s face as He celebrates their presence, and He celebrates yours, too.
Ask for the longing for that day to come when the King will show you how He worked in all these messy, broken moments between you.
Ask for the longing to desire His will over yours.
There is forgiveness for them and for you, and there is power to help you through, that you might experience the fruit of spiritual blessing in both this life and in the life to come, around the table of the King, through the Cross.