“You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.” (Psalm 23:5)
Continue to imagine with me our scene at the table with Jesus, our Good shepherd. He has prepared your favorite meal and He has bid you to come and sit and enjoy it. So you have do that. He blessed the food and you have started to eat. It is more wonderful than you could have imagined. Everything is perfect. As you eat you look up and notice Jesus watching you with a grin of satisfaction. You have never felt more blessed.
As you eat you begin to sense someone else in the room. You look and slightly to your left is someone standing. You are startled but not afraid. After all Jesus is there. You look a little closer and you recognize the person. “What are they doing here?” You stop eating and you look over at Jesus. He is still smiling. His eyes move down directing your attention to the place setting next to you. You hadn’t noticed it before. You were so blown away by this dinner and what it meant to you that you didn’t think about others being invited. You now realize that there are many empty place settings. You look back at Jesus and He nods because He knows what you have discovered. This dinner is not just for you…many are invited.
This is good, but now your thoughts turn back to the one standing near you. “I am glad others are invited, but him?” This is the person in your life that seems to always be against you. They are the proverbial “thorn in your side”. The bully…the negative voice…the critic…the rain on your parade…the enemy. This person can bring you down and steal the joy in any situation. And now they are here, in the room, to do it again!
You look back at Jesus. His eyes are still filled with love and another verse comes into your mind, “love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those that curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27, 28). “No…no…not now…not here. This is my moment!”
You have stopped eating and started pouting. Jesus has sat down beside you on your right. “Remember”, He whispers, “you were my enemy when I first invited you to this table” and the verses began to flow through your mind about God’s great love for you…a sinner. What He did for you on the cross. You begin to understand that this dinner is not about you. It’s about Jesus.
When you look back up into Jesus’ face He nods His head toward your left. He is urging you to interact with the person. What will you do? You are not sure. You are a little afraid, but Jesus is there. So you pull the chair out next to you and you invite this “guest” to join you.
We are blessed to be a blessing.