I come to The Table broken. Blood on my hands. Many in this room would say that I am a great man of God. But I know a painful reality they do not always see, what my Savior always sees without fail: I have not done great things for God. I have sinned. I have fallen short. I have done the very things I urged people to turn from. I dine with sinners, as one of them.
I come to The Table shy. Tempted with insecurity and indifference. Shouldn’t I feel something more than I do now? I know the sensible thing to do is to approach The Table. And yet, there is reluctance. Has my uncertainty weakened its power? Should I even bother?
I come to The Table perplexed. Desperate for any semblance of His guidance. There is simply nowhere else to go. Through tears, my wife and I hope that somehow, here, at The Table, we will walk away comforted, feeling heard.
Between Mizpah and Shen, God’s prophet Samuel set up a stone. Ebenezer. A fixed, visible reminder, in the presence of His people. Calling them to remember what God has done. Imploring them to consider what God will continue to do.
The Table is made of mahogany wood. Not stone. Yet it is an Ebenezer of its own. The Table is prepared by the true and better Samuel. I cannot gloss over this. He does not make me set The Table. He sets The Table for me.
Every trip to The Table is different. A fresh, tangled web of feelings (or lack thereof) and experiences. But The Table never changes in the help it offers now, and later will. It is constant. Immovable. Permanent.
We are forgiven. We are comforted. We remember. “The Lord has helped us.”