The Prepared Table: Introduction
"Lo, the table spread before us
With the bread and with the wine:
Lo, the Savior waiting for us,
Bidding us come and dine.
“Come and dine,” the Lord is calling,
“Sup with Me and I with thee”
He’s prepared for us this table—
Let us feast abundantly.
We are feasting with our Savior,
He with us and we with Him;
Feast of feasts that ne’er will end!
Eating, drinking with Thyself, Lord,
We are wholly satisfied. The taste we of that glorious banquet
Thou wilt share with us, Thy Bride."
- Author Unknown
The topics of famine, food, feasting, and fellowship are so prevalent in Scripture, you can scarcely read through one of it's narratives without finding one of these concepts. In Genesis, in the Garden of Eden, God, in perfect fellowship with His creation, cultivated a feast for Adam and Eve. In the Gospels, Jesus, united with His disciples, served them miraculous meals and even established a special meal of Communion. In Revelation, Christ's redeemed bride, the Church, is served the marriage supper prepared for her by Jesus.
Food and wine are undoubtedly agents of feasting. Throughout Scripture's narrative, they are a symbolic representation used to point us toward the ultimate purpose of the meal, which is joyful union and fellowship. For millennia, the Lenten season has become a widely observed part of the Church calendar. Lent's primary focus is to assume the proper posture of oneself in pious penitence and abstinence. Participation in Lent requires one to give up valuable comforts and habits in hopes of acquiring greater favor with God. For 40 days, much effort is exerted by the participants. Perhaps individuals do come to a better understanding of the nature of sin or depravity, however, Lent is built upon a faulty notion.
Lent supposes that human sacrifice can synthetically engineer communion and fellowship with God. Lent forgets the hope of Easter. Easter, or Resurrection Day, whichever title you prefer, stands in contrast to this idea of Lent. Easter loudly proclaims, "the tomb is empty, the famine is over, and fellowship is restored". This devotional is the outpouring of that reality.
God has prepared a table of feasting for His beloved. No longer do we live in fear of God's righteous wrath, but instead, God Himself restored unity with His people and invites them to dine with Him. The Prepared Table devotional and feasting guide will give you a précis of Scripture's feasting theme. You will begin to see the Gospel glow, like a lit candle around a dinner table, one that has been meticulously prepared for a long-awaited feast.
In an effort to mirror and magnify our Creator and Redeemer, The Prepared Table seeks to inspire you, the reader, to open your own homes for hospitality and fellowship. Unlike many other devotional guides, The Prepared Table is not meant to be used for personal quiet times, or, for mere introspective devotional reading. This devotional guide is an intentional battle plan. We want to give you, the reader, ammo to wage war against the enemies of God. Because of what King Jesus has won for you, wage war against His enemies with worship-filled hospitality.
Open your home, prepare your table, model, and celebrate the victory won for us by Jesus. This Easter, with our devotional guide, we pray that your Biblical understanding would deepen, that your table would be filled with food and guests, and that your trousers would be blessed with a bounty of stretch.
Dear friends, feast with joy. King Jesus rules victoriously over His enemies! We no longer dwell in a land of lenten famine, but we rejoice at the table of feasting which our resurrected Lord has prepared for us.