October 7

Psalm 23

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” vs. 5

The psalmist was familiar with the banqueting table image that is so dear to our hearts as we consider our future life in Christ. In this familiar psalm he expands that vision in an unexpected way, and assures us that one day we will be at table in the presence of our enemies. Some have narrowly interpreted this as an exclusive backroom soiree with our Lord in a place where our enemies cannot disturb us. But that particular vision doesn’t work with the expansive picture we see in other scriptures. So it’s more likely that the psalmist has in mind the universal meal of Isaiah and that we’ll be sitting at the table of the Lord with our enemies. All people, friends and foes alike, will be eating rich food and drinking fine wine together in the peaceable kingdom. In many congregations followers of Jesus anticipate that meal in their regular celebrations of Holy Communion–it’s a foretaste of the feast that is to come. In the past, for a variety of reasons, participation in Communion has been limited to a select group, all those who have jumped through the regulatory hoops. In recent years there’s been a change, and the phrase “All are welcome,” is heard as part of the dinner invitation. It’s been a welcome shift, and has opened the possibility for friends and foes to eat and drink together now, just as they surely will in the life to come.

Thought for the Day: Why is it hard for enemies to eat together?

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