Tuesday, November 07, 2006

An Invitation to a Banquet

I have a confession to make. I love banquets and pot-luck dinners. We'll be having one in our church this week and I'm looking forward to the feast. We call this one our Thank Offering Supper. It's meant to be a celebration of the provision of God, as, in this rural community, the harvest is complete.

I know what to expect. There will be a pan of Pastor Hogman's famous chicken, at least one of Dayna's amazing desserts, a huge bowl filled with one of Karen's great salads, another of Elsie's yummy speckled buns and of course, platters loaded with an abundance of Alberta beef. How could it get any better? Everyone in our church is invited to this feast and it's hard to imagine why anyone would stay away. But some probably will, for whatever reason. Some will be busy with other things, some might feel they can't contribute and stay away from embarrassment, others might feel uncomfortable because they don't know many people yet, and still others will simply forget the feast is happening. Some may simply refuse to come. They may be angry with someone, angry with God, so, as my mother used to say, they will "cut off their nose to spite their face."

There's a banquet prepared for all of us that is more important than any feast of physical food. It's a banquet prepared by God for all those who would come and eat. David, one of the writers of the Psalms, knew about it. He said - "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies" (Psalm 23:5). Solomon, the writer of Song of Songs knew about it too - he said - "He has taken me to the banquet hall and his banner over me is love." (Song of Songs 2:4).

The banquet God has prepared for us is far more satisfying than any physical banquet could be. God's banquet is everlasting, nourishing not just the body but the soul. On that table is spread every spiritual gift we could ever need, every morsel of grace and mercy God could wring from Himself. His banquet is available to everyone. He invited us to the feast on the day His Son Jesus died. His death opened wide the door to the banquet hall. All we have to do is show up.

But too often we refuse. We're too busy, too embarrassed, too self-conscious, too angry. Or maybe we've just forgotten the table has been spread for us. Maybe we've just ignored the invitation for so long, we've forgotten all about it.The good news is, the invitation stands forever. The door will always be open. So come. Come to the feast. Sit at God's banquet table and be forever satisfied.

1 comment:

JD said...

Amen and beautifully done, Marcia. Thanks!