Hebrews says, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Heb. 12:15). Bitterness is a root, which means it lives under the surface. You can look at a flower bed and only see dirt and flowers, and not realize that there’s a thick root lurking just below the soil preparing to spring up. And when bitterness springs up it causes trouble and defiles many. There are many communities, families, churches where you can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong. It’s like a rat died behind the fridge and everything smells a little off.
This verse says that the antidote to bitterness is the grace of God: see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God. Don’t fail to receive God’s grace. Don’t fail to take it in. God’s grace kills bitterness because it puts everything in perspective. Bitterness grows in the green house of pride. But grace makes people humble. Grace comes to the lowly, the poor, the hungry, the sick, the broken. But there’s a way of being lowly and poor and broken that imagines that it deserves God’s grace. Haven’t I been sad long enough? Don’t I deserve something good? That’s pride, and that means you’re not really broken at all. And God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.
This table is spread for the hungry. It is not spread for the people who think they deserve to get some food because it’s been a while. This table is spread for those who know they don’t deserve God’s grace. This table is a table of grace, a table where we eat a broken Savior and ask him to break our pride so that there will not be any bitterness inside.