Our kitchen table… Chris and I bought it around 18 years ago, soon after we married. We really couldn’t afford it, but Chris really wanted this expensive, Ethan Allen kitchen table… so, the two broke newlyweds bought it with the tax return check that had not yet come in the mail. Well, the check never came, in fact we owed tax money. So we sat, even more broke, at that fancy table and ate PB&Js until we paid it off.
We still sit at this table. We have added the leaf extension, added some chairs, added some kids. The paint is peeling, there are spaghetti and play-do stains that I cannot remove. There are sticky spots and dents. I refuse to replace it until the boys are older…what’s the point in spending money on another table that they will destroy? We have had lots of meals at this table, with family, with friends, lots of good conversations, laughs, some tears.
Research shows that tables are good for us, it’s good for our hearts and our heads to sit together, to carve out some moments to look at other faces, eat good food and commune.
The table grounds us, draws us all in. We remember, we rejoice at the table.
There has been a lot of table language, table talk, floating around in Christian culture recently. Have you heard it? Books, songs, signs… “all are welcome at the table, come to the table, you have a seat here”….Psalm 23 and Luke 14 discuss table talk…Jesus has prepared a table for us, and all are invited, a banqueting table, a table with a feast.
However, this morning, the lyrics of this song sat with me…the lyrics discussed another table…the table where Jesus sat with his men, and explained the sacrifice he was about to make.
In Mark 14:12-16 Jesus’s disciples ask him where they should consume the Passover meal. Jesus instructs them to find a certain man who “will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal. They went and found everything just as Jesus had said.”
This upper room, where Christ’s last meal on earth would take place did not even belong to him. It was a borrowed room with a borrowed table from a Jerusalem man. It was beside this borrowed table that Jesus washed feet. It was at this borrowed table that He sat in the presence of his enemy, Judas. It was at this borrowed table that he told of the sacrifice he would make, explained the cup, his blood, and the bread, his body.
The blood was the covenant between God and his people, poured out as a sacrifice for many (Mark 14: 24) the bread, his broken body, given up for us.
Here is where the lyrics got me:
“There’s a table that you’ve prepared for me in the presence of my enemies.
It’s your body and the blood you shed for me.
This is how I fight my battles…”
These lyrics are about the Passover table, the borrowed table. The last thing Jesus did with his gathered men was to prepare them for their battles.
The table was prepared ahead for them, and he offered his body and his blood. This sacrifice forever defeated death and allows us to fight our battles…
He’s prepared us for the fight…whatever you are battling, he’s gone ahead of you…
He’s goes before us, just as he did these men. The table is ready, all we have to do is show up. His body and blood have been spilled, in the presence of our enemy… and this is how we fight our battles…with the weapons of his sacrifice.
This was a Passover table, a Passover meal, to remember the sacrifice, and he was the ultimate sacrifice.
There is a banquet table in heaven waiting for us, where we rejoice when we see our King again.
But there is a Passover table here, for now, as we battle, as we wait, as we use the power of his death and resurrection to defeat the enemy.
Tables are good for us, it’s good for our hearts and our heads to sit before Him, to carve out some moments to look at His face, eat of His word and commune with Him.
His table grounds us, draws us all in. We remember, we rejoice at His table….
This is how we fight our battles…because of what he offered at the table, his body, his blood, because of what he offered on the cross…