It does a soul good to hear the words, “You are always welcome here.” I think in the heart of each person is a craving to hear those words raw when we feel the least worthy to be. It is a grace to be invited into a home surrounded by those who live out that heart mantra. In fact, I haven’t found a more Gospel-centered, grace-empowered war cry to battle against the love of self.
I had the privilege of being in one of those homes when a friend invited me over for dinner. I sat at the counter while she and her mom prepared our meal. They insisted that I relax while they cut the vegetables, season the chicken, and fix the salad, so I let myself soak up the joy and harmony around me. I asked my friend’s mom if they usually have a lot of people over for dinner. She laughed and said, “I never know who my son is going to bring home for dinner, or how many of his friends will be joining us,” as she shrugged her shoulders. “But I love that; I love having a full table,” she admitted.
After the meal was ready to serve, we sat and feasted, as friends walked into the kitchen, and placemats were slightly shifted to make room for one more chair. I couldn’t help but smile when their family philosophy, “You are always welcome at the table” echoed in the core of me because they actually live it.
In a similar way, Jesus highlighted the radical generosity his followers are to exercise in their lives in Luke 14:12-14, “When you give a dinner or banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Jesus desires His people to be marked by Gospel-fueled generosity and an “always” invitation to any one thirsty for grace and mercy, because that is exactly what He showed us on the cross. Because Jesus faced His Father’s abandonment and denial to feast at the table, we have an “always” invitation to come and feast on Jesus. Our sure, coming reality is recorded in Revelation 19:6-10 in the marriage supper of the Lamb, when we will forever feast on God Himself in His all-surpassing, all-satisfying beauty. This will be the most abundant feast, where angels are roaring and when our souls will never need again.
In this season, instead of feasting on greed that fuels the love of self and leads only to discouragement and frustration, let’s invite one another over for meals and fellowship and never hesitate to make room for one more. Let’s choose to feast long and well on God Himself with the people He has so graciously given us. Let’s choose to believe that the heart of Jesus is always, “come,” when we feel the least worthy. And let’s adopt the habit of reminding each other daily that because of the cross, we will never stop hearing our beautiful Savior beckoning us saying, “Come, feast at my table. Regardless of where you’ve been before, you are always welcome here.”
Let’s continue to linger long at the foot of the cross, laying down anything that would keep us from feasting on the only One who will satisfy our needy souls until we join Him for the marriage of the Lamb, made possible for us only by His blood.
Article Written By: Bethany Kuiken