At the Captain’s table
An agoraphobic recluse is hardly likely to book his annual vacation on a cruise ship. It’s more the dream of sociable souls. And for them, an invitation to dine at the captain’s table would be an added bonus. What interesting fellow-diners they might meet. What fascinating stories they might hear. What delectable cuisine they might savour.
According to 1 Corinthians 10:2; and 11:20 we have been invited to dine at ‘the table of the Lord’ and partake of ‘the Lord’s supper’.
In the local church’s dining room
However, in Revelation 3:0 Jesus reverses these roles; he desires to be favoured guest at our table – the table of a local church. But before inviting himself, he admits to a bout of spiritual nausea or even acid reflux due to the lack of passion in the church in Laodicea. In verse Revelation 3:16 (English Standard Version) he says:
‘[B]ecause you are lukewarm, and neither [boiling] hot [Greek, zestos] nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.’
But the word he actually used was ‘vomit’.
That idea was first expressed in Proverbs 23:6-8,
‘Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words.’
Jesus eventually calls from outside the church door to anyone who is alert to his voice:
‘[B]e zealous [boiling hot] and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me’ (Revelation 3:19-20).
After all, he was anything but lukewarm in his sacrificial ordeal at Calvary. So, let’s always respond zealously to his passion whenever we dine with him in the Lord’s Supper. Feed on him in your hearts by faith, and be thankful.
On the Shepherd’s pastures
Did David compose Psalm 23:0 after becoming king? Even if he did write it in his days of royalty, his heart was surely still on the Judean hills near Bethlehem when he invites the Lord’s flock to picnic freely in meadows of green Spring grass, besides waters of rest. Here, despite the threat of lions and bears from the woods or snakes in the grass, ‘I will fear no evil. Your rod, staff [and slingshot] comfort me [at] the table … prepared for me’