How we love a holiday. And many of us have an invitation to be with family or friends on Thanksgiving Day, where the majority of businesses close their doors and people plan to meet together for the main purpose of fellowship and companionship and good eats- lots and lots of good eats at the table! This day is set apart from all others.This is an American National holiday!
Set apart. And there are people, set apart, and lonely on these days. Oh yes, this can be a day of great sadness as well, even when surrounded by a crowd! But God doesn’t ‘shut Himself up in the heavens’, no, He has come down with an invitation for all. When like Jacob on a journey to his father’s home, he only had a ‘rock’ for a pillow. There were no ‘comforts’ on his way, but the Comforter was with him and gave him a vision of the ladder come down that reached to the heavens, with angels both going up and coming down. But not only that, God gave Jacob his word:
“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” (Gen 28:15). The Bible tells us that ‘the fear of the Lord’ came over Jacob, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place…”(Gen 28:17).
I don’t think Jacob was lonely anymore. I don’t think Jacob was without direction anymore. Jacob was ‘filled’ and he worshiped God.
Sometimes God has us walk in a lonely place. Sometimes God has us walk in a painful, uncomfortable place. But it is then that we ‘see’ His hand-pierced invitation. It is often in that place, when a ‘rock’ becomes our pillow, that we pick up the invitation: The invitation is for all: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”(Matthew 11:28) And the choice is made, to come…in heart, soul, and mind,to the Lord’s Table.
“Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”(Matthew 26:26,27).
You are hungry for God, and come to the Lord’s Table. You take a broken and pierced piece of bread and you realize, “He knows what it is like to be poor, to be lonely, to be rejected, to be full of sorrow, to be completely misunderstood, and treated shamefully, even angry, He knows.”
And as you chew on that broken piece of bread and are reminded that “the wages of sin is death,… (Rom 6:23) you can hear Jesus say these words to His Father: “I am willing.” And the words to a long forgotten hymn come to mind:
“Alas! And did my Savior bleed And did my sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred Head For such a worm as I? Was it for crimes that I have done He groaned up on the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! and love beyond degree!”(At the Cross).
The old songs were written of this amazing Table of precious fellowship. There is no Table like God’s. “Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome, God’s free bounty glorify; True belief and true repentance, Every grace that brings you nigh.”
“I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me, in His arms. In the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.” ((I will arise and Go to Jesus, Joseph Hart).
There is a Ladder from heaven to earth! “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” (Ps. 18:6).
“Seeing that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympothize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 45:14-16).
It is God who ‘makes all things work together for good…'(Romans 8:28), even when we are journeying and our pillow is a ‘rock.’ Because He is there, with a personal invitation to His Table, anytime, (well, not anytime in the physical, but communion in our hearts with Him, anyplace). He says, ‘Remember Me’, “Do this in remembrance of Me. ” (Luke 22:19).
God makes us hungry and thirsty for truth, for worship, for church with other believers, and for the love and forgiveness He gives at His Table.
And when we come, our soul then remarks with incredible awe, “How awesome is this place.” (Gen. 28:17). ‘How awesome is this place’, there is no Table of Thanksgiving quite like this one. Let us ‘come’ to His Table today, in our heart, soul, and mind, and love the Lord for all He has done. Letting go of all that was behind and taking and receiving all that He is –
Oh how ‘full’ we become. “Empty me, that You may fill me with the fullness of You.” In Jesus Name, AMEN.