“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20 (NLT)
When Jesus enters (into our hearts or into his lazy church), let’s imagine he comes in through the entryway – and then goes straight to the dinner table for us to share a meal together in happy fellowship. In the former post, we talked about a “potluck” of sorts, to which we contribute our homemade food, and to which he brings his sumptuous heaven-made fare. But it occurs to me that the actual food that we consume together at this table is secondary to the thing of first importance. In other words, the “main course” is not actually food; it’s fellowship with him and with each other. The food might have brought us to the table to begin with, but what keeps bringing us back to the table is the “sharing of the meal together as friends.”
The main course…
When someone invites me to dinner I never ask, “What are you having?” That would be rude and it probably would be the last invitation I’d get from them. Plus, asking about the food would be putting second things first. Since I’m not starving to death, it’s likely that the thing foremost on their mind was not really the food we were going to eat together. I imagine that nourishment and tasty food would be on their agenda, but it probably was not their chief goal. My guess is that their predominant aspiration was for us to spend time together at their table enjoying each other’s company. It’s not so much about eating food together as together eating food – where “together” takes first place. The main course is not the food on the table but the friendships at the table!
The food, though sustenance to our bodies, in this case serves primarily as a facilitator, a connector between us. It’s been lovingly prepared and placed in the center. We seat ourselves around it – facing it – but more important than the actual fixings are the friends on either side of us, and opposite us. Feeding our faces ranks far behind the first thing – our fellowship. What I do for Jesus and even what he does for me is a far cry from who we are to each other. Our friendship at his table is first.
I’m pretty sure Jesus cares more about me than what I bring to the table. And since he’s more interested in our friendship than in the food that I bring, I’m learning to more focused on him than on the blessings he brings and even the assignments he gives to me. His presence is infinitely more valuable to me than his presents.
What we bring to the table – our efforts, our good works, our ministries are all important. Similarly, what Jesus brings – miracles, provisions, blessings – are always life-saving and nourishing. But the real main course is not the cuisine – it’s the love between us at the table. The conversation, the interaction we have, the wonder we have in our hearts with the One at the head of the table and the joy we have between us, that’s what’s most precious. To Jesus, and now to me, it’s not so much about what’s on the table, but who’s at the table, seated in close enough proximity for tender exchange. What initially motivates us to come to the table is the meal, but when arrive there and find our seats we find the camaraderie even more meaningful than the meal. The main course – you, Jesus, and me – sharing a meal together as friends!