Room at the Table

Room at the Table

Room at the Table

I had never experienced the Lord’s Supper at a table before. Neither had my wife for that matter; needless to say, we were both excited to participate fully when the time came. That morning I found myself seated next to my wife across from and next to folks that were strangers to us, yet in that moment were also family. Certainly it was and will continue to be a foretaste of that coming wedding feast where we will join Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob along with representatives of every nation, tribe and tongue at the heavenly table as one redeemed family.

Yet, there was one aspect in particular which left the strongest impression on my wife and me. When we looked to our left, despite the call to fill in the benches, there was a long stretch of empty space. Both Jaimie and I, upon noticing the void, thought the same thing.

There is room.

There are still seats at the table waiting to be filled. As Jesus said by way of a parable, there “was a king who gave a wedding feast for his son (Matt. 22:2).” Having invited many guests, some refusing and others accepting, the servants return from their task of inviting to the king with a report “Sir, what you have commanded has been done, and still there is room (Luke 14:22).”

I share this by way of encouragement to you, my brothers and sisters at I.P.C., who have believed and come and have accepted our family with great joy and warmth. You have done what was commanded. You have been hospitable to strangers. Truly, our delayed moving van has provided us the opportunity to experience your hospitality and warmth. I was reminded as the welcoming parties came, seemingly two by two, of the generosity of our God. As He cheerfully and bountifully gives to us all things, so you all have reflected that generosity toward us accepting us as one of your own and pouring out your love. You have taken us in as your own and poured out a great show of the generosity wrought within you by God’s grace. But, yet, there is still room. The table is not full.

In the next few weeks the SCAD semester will begin and downtown Savannah will be filled with an influx of new and returning students. Some will be leaving the familiarity of home for the unknown of college. Others will be returning to the circuit of classes and coffee shops. Many of these are unaware of the feast the king has prepared. They will wander into our church on Sunday or Wednesday afternoon. We will meet them in the street and seated across from us at the café. How will we respond?

I pray that our Lord will awaken us to receive such moments as opportunities, even as he awakened you all to our arrival so that you might respond with the same generous welcome with which you responded to us. Many of you went out of your way to find and fill our needs. You loved us sacrificially and continue to do so. As you have done so to us, so do to them. These “poor and crippled and lame and blind (Lk. 14:21)” in Savannah, as many as we find “both bad and good” (Mt. 22:10) have been invited by the king to a feast.

But how shall they know unless they are told? So let us go forth as the Samaritan woman into our hometown and invite them to “Come and see…” that there is room. There is room here for them, here at I.P.C., here at the Lord’s Table. And may he bless our labors and stretch our reach to the SCAD students and beyond who share the old roads of Savannah with us so that His banquet will be full.

May the Lord see fit to make us fruitful in His work. Amen.

– Evan Gear (Pastoral Intern)

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