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 Great Interpreter Is God—Not Me

GodReflection: My Bible Doesn’t Read Like Yours

gary portraitI live in a big city. Hidden in the city I miss the reminder of God’s grandeur. We city dwellers may find that concrete and bricks limit our daily visuals of All Powerful Creator God.

Day and night, I am either inside a house covered by ceiling or in the streets staring at pavement in an attempt to stay out of the pathway of a gazillion cars flying above speed limits and moving in my direction.

At this point in my walk I find much of my effort is spent on my deteriorating body. almighty7From my pavement focus while driving, to my downward gaze when I walk, my actions are careful to NOT speed up my demise. I try not to skin my knees and my nose by a fall nor end my time on earth in a wrecked automobile.

Often, I find when I read my Bible I am focused on a specific thought or a limited arena of concern. Far too often I read without a consideration of big picture God.

As I hunt and peck at the keys of my keyboard I think back to earlier years. Like a Power Point presentation, I see frames of sleeping bag nights in wait of sleep as I took in the vastness of God’s grand sky. The moon shown bright and stars filled the heavens in numbers too great to be counted.

almighty19Pictures flash before my mind of past views of high mountain ice-cold lakes in the Mountain Ranges of New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the Andes of Argentina.

I see beloved images of the rugged vastness of New Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert and the beauty of the tall pines in the Sacramento Mountains.

My Power Point continues to run through moments of awe at the enormity of Brazil’s Amazon, the power of her rivers, the beauty of the Pantanal and her exquisitely sculptured beaches.

almighty12Surely, God’s magnificence needs to also penetrate my Bible reading.

Ok, what’s my point?

When I look back over my Bible reading walk, I recognize that in earlier years my reading was anemic. My focus was upon how close I followed what I had learned from others. To be fair, I probably read more with brain than heart. I was more concern with my rightness than I was with relationship to the power source.

Yes, I did need to know God’s written word. Yes, I did want to honor it. But, with my eyes lock on city concrete I failed to see the larger grandeur of Jesus the Word. Perhaps I sought truth without awareness that Truth is Jesus since Jesus is Truth.

I was saved but I still believed Pluto was a real planet.

almighty13I learned and believed over my life that Pluto was a planet. It wasn’t until eleven years ago in 2006 that I learned I had believed wrong.

All because a bigger picture came into view and scientist reclassified Pluto. Still a heavenly wonder but little Pluto was removed from the planet list.

I must always read my Bible with an attitude of humility. I will arrive at some wrong interpretations because of my humanity. I suspect that is ok with the ONE who sees across all of the light years of the universe. He knows that my brain is limited in understanding.

almighty6What applies to me applies to others. It’s ok that we don’t read our Bibles alike. The same God that interprets the universe also sees my human ceiling, pavement and sidewalks.

He knows that far too often you and I read our Bible concerned with our present circumstances forgetting to trust the one who see the entire picture and is its perfect interpreter.

If God who is the final and Great Interpreter still accepts me when my limitations that cause me to understand many aspects of my Bible different from others; shouldn’t I allow Him to grant you the same grace when your understanding is different from my own?

And, shouldn’t I too open my heart valve and let some grace flow in your direction?

After all is said and done, all knowing and all-powerful God, who was before the beginning of time, is still the Great Interpreter—not me.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: The Great Interpreter Is God—Not Me.

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