I Sit with Him at the Family Table

GodReflection: Does God Care Specifically About Me?
“Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Luke 14:15

gary portraitI come from a long tradition of the family table.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, aunts, cousins, and other friends had WELCOME signs engraved in doormats and hearts. There were always open chairs at the tables.

From toddler through high school graduation, our meals were served at the family table. However, from the table more than caloric nutrition was imparted to those seated in our family circle.  At each meal my dad directed a simple prayer to God: “We thank thee for this food and all other blessings.” Under that holy anthem we learned to laugh, converse, enjoy and tolerate each other.

picnic1On celebratory occasions the family table morphed into feast mode. Grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins gathered around a table weighed down with apple, pecan, peach and cherry pies along with a huge variety of cakes, meats, salads, and breads. Noticed I mentioned the pies first.

Our church family table was an even greater feast. Together we celebrated family and the blessing of abundance.

The prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel anticipate the time of a grand banquet with the Messiah at the table of God. With the arrival of Jesus, through parables, teaching, miracles, and quotations from Isaiah, Jesus set the banquet table in anticipation of His death and resurrection.

feast13His stories were of feasts at weddings, a great supper, and miraculous mountain-side abundant supplies of food for hungry people. He invited a Roman centurion and a Canaanite woman into the presence of the Holy Banquet Hall.

His description of the Great Banquet tells of the Father who prepares a feast to honor His Son. The guest list is prepared and sent out. Every invitation was refused even to the point of mistreatment of those who delivered the Father’s request.

feast9The Great Banquet doors lead to the Father’s table are swung open at His command. A new invitation went out to we common folks of the streets and alleys characterized as good and bad, poor, crippled, blind and lame.

At the end of the story there is still room as the master pleads, “Go out to the roads and the country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.”

It’s an almost unbelievable invite to receive an invitation from the Creator of the universe to dine with Him.

Jesus’ Great Banquet story saw fulfilment after his resurrection as faith was placed in him for admittance to the Father’s table.

feast10In more somber moments the Great Feast helps me make sense of what seems in my mind as the delay in Christ’s return. There is still room at His table.

The Father wants every vacant chair filled.

To pick up on the duel feast imagery of the prophets and the gospels there is more to it than the grand eternal reward. There is a now aspect. I enjoy the table fellowship in the present.

My current reality of the foretold table feast is a resounding “Yes” in Christ. The Son-Messiah is the guest of honor. Because of the son, Paul the apostle uses colorful phrases to describe the table confidence I claim in the present.

Kingdom people are alive to God in Christ Jesus. Security is found in the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Christ Jesus we are all children of God through faith. We are blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing un Christ. We belong to God’s household.

feast14So here is brick number seven of twelve to help me become less of an “earthoholic” and more addicted to the Holy as I seek God’s reassurance that He care specifically about me.

I have accepted the invitation. I sit with Him at the family table.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: I Sit At the Family Table


The Secret I Must Share

GodReflection: God Shares His Secret

garyguaruja“It’s a girl” or “it’s a boy” is shouted with joy and great excitement to family, friends and strangers. The secret is out. It cannot be held.

Secrecy and elation wrap gifts meant to surprise those we love.

share4Carefully calculated cameras reveal a secret from jumbo stadium screens to catch an unsuspected recipient off guard. A ring is presented and the question: “Will you marry me?” is popped.

The young lady screams and bounces with excitement. The world now knows. The secret is no longer held.

The Gospels burst with announcement, excitement and celebration as they reveal God’s secret plan through Jesus to make available forgiveness, salvation and Holy friendship to us flawed and sin filled creatures.

The surprise was that Jesus would come to stand in the place of my sin so that I can stand next to God.

share8The Gospel of Luke shares stories Jesus told that characterize people’s reaction to the salvation secret with celebration.

When the secret of total and complete forgiveness was revealed, parties broke out.

When the lost were found friends and neighbors came together to rejoice, feast, and celebrate with dancing and music.

Jesus states:In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10

I could fill this space with those I’ve met whose hearts seem to almost explode with gratefulness because Jesus transformed their lives with secret grace held by God up until their “now.”

share13Francisco, a friend remembered with warmth comes to mind. He has since crossed over where he will receive his eternal reward.

Francisco heard the salvation secret. He couldn’t keep it to himself.

It was a secret he had to share. In the spirit of Jesus’ rejoicing stories, shortly after his baptism, he chartered three or four busses to bring  friends together for a great party to celebrate. He had to tell them all of his good fortune.

I lament that I’m not more like my friend Francisco. Truth is I’m not the party type. Perhaps, it is being a genuine introvert. However, I do wish I were more exuberant in my ability to share the secret.

share2But here is what I know.

I am super grateful for God’s grace, Jesus sacrifice and my forever canceled sin debt.

I am at peace in the knowledge that the Spirit of God walks with me throughout the day and stands with me each night as He lives in my deteriorating body.

I await with great anticipation the reality of a new heaven and a new earth.

I look forward to intensified blessings and total freedom from all of life’s wretch. All of which is party and celebration worthy.

Maybe I can at least be a window God can use to show others His love so that they can throw their own parties.

Let me close this series of posts by one more remembrance of Paul’s description of the Divine Secret found in his letter to the Ephesians:

share9For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.

In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,

God did what He had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan He had already decided to complete by means of Christ.

This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head.

All things are done according to God’s plan and decision; and God chose us to be His own people in union with Christ because of His own purpose, based on what He had decided from the very beginning (Ephesians 1:4-11).

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

My Reflection on The Secret I Must Share

http://www.GodReflection.org  Gary@GodReflection.org