Thanksgiving. It’s a day that all too often gets swept to the side as we plan our strategy for our “Black Friday attack” and calculating when is the best time to put the food on the table so we can still watch all three football games without interruption.
It seems funny that we have to have a day that reminds us to be thankful.
For those who have received the gift of salvation, there are three tables that sit before us.
The Thanksgiving Table
The one filled with Turkey and stuffing. The one surrounded by family and friends. We have so much to be thankful for. I was thinking through my list this morning. The bride of my youth, now 20 years later. Two amazing and joyful daughters. Family who want the best for me. Friends who are with me even when things aren’t the best. A home to share. A job to serve. A table, that in just a few hours, will be filled with more food than I need. A God who loves more than I understand, hears my prayers and allows me to still see miracles.
The Wedding Feast Table
As good or as bad as it may feel at times as we go through this thing called “life”, the fact is – this isn’t “it”. This isn’t home. And no matter how good the “high” is, or how bad the “low” is, this is the worse it will ever be because we have the promise of heaven. In heaven, there will be a table like no other, because we will be seated with the King who is like no other. We will no longer see things dimly, but rather as they really are. There will be no more tears. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old things will be no more. (Revelation 21:4) When Jesus has called His bride, the body of believers, it will be a wedding feast like we have never seen. Not because the food or the company, as great as they will be, but because of our Host, Our King. Jesus.
The Communion Table
It’s also called the Eucharist, or more plainly, “The Table of Thanksgiving”. The Communion Table uses two simple elements: bread and wine to remind us of the work that Jesus.
With the bread, I’m reminded that it was Christ’s body that was broken and beaten for my sins. Which is both great and tragic at the same time. It also reminds me that I am part of His body. I didn’t have to do anything. I didn’t have to get cleaned up or start to “straighten up”. He just accepted me. Loved me. Welcomed me. Amazing.
With the wine, I’m reminded of his blood. The old hymn sings, “what can wash away my sins…nothing but the blood of Jesus”. Although my sins were forgiven by the beating that He took and, ultimately, His dying on the cross, I still sin. I did yesterday. I will again today and no doubt, I’ll sin tomorrow too. But that’s what’s great about His blood. In the same way this Tale of Three tables celebrates the blessings of today (Thanksgiving Table), the hope and promise of tomorrow (Wedding Feast Table), and the freedom of my mistakes from yesterday (Communion Table), so have all my sins been forgiven. Those that I’ve committed today. Those that I’ll commit tomorrow. Those that I committed yesterday. No wonder the Eucharist is the “Table of Thanksgiving”.
For all these things – I am thankful.
I guess a reminder to be thankful isn’t so unusual after all.
Blessings to you and your family on this day that reminds us to give thanks.