The Whisper, Part III
Originally scheduled for February 8
At the table, He
prepares for me a place.
He redeems me, I am pardoned by His
He restores me with His rich and lavish love.
His call, I hear the whisper of my name.
There is one
thing I would call to your attention first. It is a simple stated
fact, both in this song and in the Scripture, that you do not
prepare your own meal at the table of the Lord. It is not a
“do-it-yourself” project. Unless the Lord himself prepares the
table, it will do you no good. You are the invited guest, not the
caterer. For most Christians, however, the idea of preparing the
table brings back the echoes of the 23rd Psalm. You will
recall, however, that that Psalm deals with pasturing sheep. Sheep
must be led. And it is a fact of life that if you are leading, then
those whom you are leading are in your care; you must take provide
for them. That’s just how Christ does it for us; indeed, the verb is
“prepare.” Is there not in this a slight hint of the return of
Christ? Is there a reason we take communion “until he comes?”
The table of the Lord is the place of
redemption and part. In the ancient world, redemption would be
understood someone along the terms of paying a ransom for an
individual. Piracy was common in those days, and one of the main
sources of income for the pirates was the ransom they would get for
various individual citizens who were being detained. The person who
paid that ransom was said to have redeemed you. In our time, a
somewhat similar example might be taken from the common pawn shop.
In your financial distress, you go down in hock Aunt Myrtle’s
precious vase, hoping at a later date to come back with enough money
to get it out of the pawn shop — and to do so early enough that it
is still there. That’s what it’s like to be redeemed: our Lord got
to the pawn shop in time with enough money. Or, to be more accurate,
he came at just the right time to offer his blood and body for our
Pardon, on the other hand, is an act of
sovereignty. You will notice that the president may pardon; the
governor may pardon — but not the Congress or the legislature. It is
by definition an act performed by the reigning head of the
government. In the times of the apostles, this would be (for
example) a Caesar. You could not earn it; nor did the governor have
to cite any reason whatsoever for giving you a pardon. You and I
have been pardoned by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. His
love motivated him to do this; he does it by the authority inherent
in being the creator.
This restoration is done indeed by his rich and
lavish love. Have you ever notice the things that are done out of
love are not parsimonious? And not just barely enough? They have
that lavish air to them a one who wishes to make absolutely certain
that you understand that you are loved. This, indeed, is to be
imitated. How often? “Seven × seventy” as Christ told Peter. Indeed,
the way that we love one another is the true mark of the disciples
of Christ. This is the result of the Lord.
Christ calls you softly and tenderly, with the
still, small voice. It is not an impersonal call; he knows your
name. So come to his table with a repentant heart seeking to imitate
the love of your Lord.
"Come to the table. Your name is written on My hand.
Come to the
table. Your name is hidden in My heart.
Come to the table and