This table is God’s promised presence with you all the time. Christ is present here now by the power of His Spirit, but it is not a localized presence, as though when you leave it fades, or you’re getting farther away. His presence here is a special, covenantal presence, but it’s a presence that is dispersed and ubiquitous. Christ reveals Himself here in clarity, but the thing that He is revealing is that He promises to go with you, out from this place. He will be with you this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow, all the time, wherever you go. He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
How do you know this? Look, He gave Himself for You. What kind of friend is Jesus? What kind of shepherd is Jesus? He is the good shepherd, who gave His life for His sheep. How could you think He would ever leave you if He died for your sins and purchased you for His own possession?
So don’t think of this table as the place where you wallow in how weak you have been, how you have failed, and all the ways you could have done better. This table is the place where God Himself meets You and cheers you on. He doesn’t invite you here to scold you. He invites you here to encourage you.
You know we are surrounded in a victim culture, everyone taking a fall for this hardship or that one, claiming mistreatment and prejudice and injustice, and there are subtle forms of the same victim-virus that can creep into Christian thinking. My marriage just can’t be that good. I’ve failed too many times. My parents were divorced. I was abused. She was adopted. He has special needs. Things are always harder for me.
I’m not saying there are not real hardships in this world, but what I am saying is that if Christ is for you, who can be against you? If Christ is with you, then whatever He brings to you is for you to conquer. Whatever He puts before you is for you to succeed in. And therefore, this is the attitude you must have for yourself and for one another. She may have a difficulty, but in Christ, that is for her to crush. He may have some great hardship, but in Jesus, you should be cheering him on to succeed. You may have fallen down, but Christ is here, for you, so that you might get back up. Here is the sure promise of God to be with you, to fight for you, to carry you, to cheer you on, every step of the way.
So, come and welcome to Jesus Christ.