Monday, May 17, 2010

Tables of Grace

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

Pastor Leithart has encouraged us to extend this reality into our families. We are called to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit in all that we do in our homes. One of the central ways that we ought to extend this reality into our homes is by copying what we do here at this table in faith. The Lord has made us family. We gather here around this table as brothers and sisters, as children of God, sons in the Son, united by the Spirit. And God feeds us here at His table week after week. But how does He feed us? He doesn’t just shove bread at us and tell us to eat the stupid bread. He doesn’t peer out at all of us and criticize all of our weaknesses. He doesn’t snap at us or gripe at us. His table is not characterized by grumpiness and crankiness. His table is characterized by thankfulness and giving and joy. He gives us bread that is his own flesh pierced for us. He gives us wine that is His own blood shed for us. And He does it cheerfully, thankfully, in love. And we can’t even fathom the depths of this love. We’re all little kids at this table, looking around wide-eyed, easily distracted, dropping crumbs on the floor. And God rejoices over us. We come here with dirt on our hands and faces. We come here distracted and ignorant. And God sits down with us and loves us. And of course, God corrects us. He does on occasion rebuke and exhort. But the tone of this meal is joy and thankfulness and love. This is the life of the Spirit here, and you do not cease to be God’s family when you go out into your own homes. Because you are God’s family here, you continue to be God’s family out there. And you cannot eat here and be fed with grace and joy and thankfulness, and then go out there and serve up griping and criticism and anger. God says, “See how I love you here? Go and do likewise. See how I bless you here? Go and do likewise.” And fathers in particular must lead in this way. It won’t do to sit down at the table and yell at everybody, “now we’re going to be thankful and happy!” God doesn’t beat us over the head with His grace. God feeds us with His grace. So come to this table and watch and listen, eat and drink and rejoice, and look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Look to Jesus, cling to Jesus, and hope in His grace to live out this grace in your homes, with your parents, with your children, with your spouse and roommates and neighbors.

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