At The Table ~ by Anina Swan

The table is oval shaped. Formica gray and yellow speckles the top and a chrome band wraps around the edge. I find my seat. It smells like macaroni and cheese. My chin barely clears the top of the table. I look across at familiar faces. One sister shifts in her seat, the other jabbers about how much she loves noodles. The other babbles because she’s too young to talk. I wonder if I’ll be served a portion this evening. The man with the big arm holding the bowl of my favorite dinner scoops some on his plate than reaches over me and scoops the food onto the next plate over. I glance up at the man with the big arm and angry eyes. I’ve been bad this week and he hasn’t forgiven me. I feel ashamed for what I did. My stomach stings from the shame and I start to cry. Will he ever forgive me?

 

“When He was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, and shared it with them. Their eyes were opened and they recognized it was Jesus the Risen Christ. Then he disappeared from their sight. They left to tell the disciples. It is true! The lord has risen. And while they talked, Jesus appeared and said, “Peace be with you.” And they ate together. “This is what is written: Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning here in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my father has promised; but stay here until you’ve been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24 gives us this account of the resurrection and great commission to all who believe.

Whose table are you sitting at? Who’s there with you? Abusive family members or friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, strangers who have wronged you or you have wronged? Does shame still sting your insides and steal your peace and distract you from the purpose God created you to fulfill? The man with the big arm and angry eyes may never forgive me, but I can forgive him because of the One who showed me what forgiveness is. His arms are so big they stretch out to eternity. His eyes, full of mercy and love—Christ the risen Savior. And because of this I can see that man who wouldn’t forgive me, through Christ’s eyes and extend forgiveness because of what Christ did when he rose from death on the cross.

There is only one I can count on for endless love and restoration from all sin that has harmed me sin I’ve harmed others with—all of it sin against my Holy God–Christ the risen Savior. He feeds us with his abundant mercy, grace, and peace to go out and tell of his love and purpose for our lives. He restores us, equips us, heals us, comforts us, and provides for us a portion that never goes empty. Push back your chair. Stand up after being fed with the living word of God, and go out with peace, leave behind the sting of shame and tell others He is risen and has a place at his table for you.