In November of 2004, my brother went home to be with the Lord. This was totally unexpected for our family. Reflecting back on the events after his death, I recall one of the harder times in dealing with his death happened at dinner time during the holidays when he was not at the table. An empty seat caused great sorrow in my heart.
During Easter, as I was reading through the events that led up to Christ's crucifixion, God convicted me as I read this verse in John 13:28: "Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him." John 13 lays out for us the events of the last supper. Each gospel gives different details, but no other gospel states the phrase "... at the table ..." The truth that God provided for me was the fact that all of His apostles were at the table, even Judas and Peter. Christ washed their feet in the verses prior and had these two men sit with Him at the last supper. Judas was the betrayer and Peter was the denier.
My heart was smitten because of realizing His love not only for me, but for the entire human race. My heart was smitten again when I thought not only of who is at my table, but who I am leaving out at my table. You see, I am guilty of not seating some at my table. Our nature is to only allow certain people "... at the table ..." Christ taught us in John 13 to serve others, washing the disciple's feet even when they may not be lovely. Christ fed Judas and Peter, knowing what would happen in the future.
I want to ask you what I had to ask myself: Who is missing at your table? I am not referring to an absence due to the death of a loved one, as I mentioned earlier; but rather, who is missing because of not being included at your table? Christ loved Judas and Peter. He demonstrated this love by washing their feet and feeding them hours before His death. We, too, are called to love like Christ. Set the table, make the call, and love others as they are - the way Jesus did!
Written by Brian Ragle