If God had to rock up at your door tonight, knock and wait for you to answer, He'd have one question for you...with a smile on His face and an open hand, He'd invite you to His table and ask "You wanna eat with me?" And this ain't a table of '20-Questions' or an invite to an interrogation. On the contrary, the invite is to literally sit down at His supper table, eat whatever's on it and share each other's stories, tell one another jokes and laugh together. Shame, guilt and condemnation aren't served at this table.
What you probably don't know is that this invitation to eat with God at His table holds some significance to the way He feels about you. Let me explain (this is where it really gets exciting!):
According to the Hebrew language, the word for table is "shulchan". "Shulchan" also means reconcile. And this was common practice within Jewish customs. If someone you knew had a grievance with you and they invited you for a meal, they were taking it upon themselves to make the first step towards reconciliation. By you accepting the invite and sitting down at their table, the symbolism was whatever it was you were carrying i.e. Offense, hurt, etc. was then laid down on the table so you didn't have to carry it any more. You were laying it down. The initiator would then feed you, sit with you, enjoy the meal with you as a symbol that the past is the past and we're now reconciling with one another. And it was done with much joy!
You find this throughout the Bible. The reconciliatory meal is all over the place; Old Testament and the New. But let me highlight two of them for you:
1. Peter had denied Jesus three times. It broke Peter. He was confident that He was a tough bloke who wouldn't fear a thing. Well, until that night. The cock crowed and he broke. Three days later, he returned to his old life of fishing when Jesus came to the river looking for Him. And what did Jesus do? He cooked him a fish breakfast, shouted to Peter on the boat and invited him to come and eat with Him. Jesus didn't scold him. Jesus invited him back to a place of reconciliation and forgiveness. Shulchan.
2. Jesus hung out with many non-chalant sort of folks. You know, the drug dealers, the hookers, the fraudsters, the drunkards, the foul-mouthed...and they in fact enjoyed hanging with Him. He didn't just hand out some gospel tracts to them either. He sat with them, He ate and drank with them. He shared meals with them. He attended their dinner parties and weddings. The religious asked his church-going deacons about this, and over hearing Jesus made it quite clear "I haven't come for the healthy, but the sick." Jesus had come to eat with those whom the "God-people" wouldn't. Those who were supposed to be representing the heart of God were far away. They wouldn't be caught dead having a Beer with a hooker, let alone a three course meal. But this was Jesus' mission the whole time. He came to show people that the God of the universe wants to eat with them, laugh with them, He wants fellowship with them! Shulchan.
And the next time you wondering what God would say to you. And you wondering how much He's going to nail you for the bad stuff you've done in your life, remember the table. Remember his invitation. It's for me and it's certainly for you. He's asking one question, "You wanna come eat with me?".
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. - Revelation 3:20