The Table of Unity
This is the table of the Lord, where we gather around to remember Him and what He did for us and for the world. We celebrate the one who has accomplished our reconciliation with God.
We remember the one who died in our place; the one who prayed from the Cross, “Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they are doing.”
We gather to honor Him. We honor him, we express our love to him and for him by becoming more and more like him. Listen to what he says:
Matthew 5:21-24 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
This is not the altar — this is the table. The altar is where the sacrifice dies; the table is where the people of God gather to consume and enjoy the results of what happened on the altar. Our altar is the Cross of Calvary, where our Passover lamb was slain. This is our table.
But the principle is the same. If we have something against someone here, or if we know we’ve hurt or sinned against someone else, the Lord calls us to do what it takes to reconcile with your family member in Christ, to forgive them and to do whatever it takes to seek forgiveness from the one we have wronged. For this is a table of unity — and if we eat and drink of the table of fellowship while holding something against another person, we are play-acting. And you know as well as I do that the Master has a great deal of patience with everything except play-acting. His word for play-acting? Hypocrisy.
Let me close with Paul’s words to the church in Colossae. Colossians 3:12-13 reads:
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if someone happens to have a complaint against anyone else.
Just as the Lord has forgiven you,
so you also forgive others.
This is the table of the Lord. Let us honor and express our love to him by forgiving one another and eating and drinking together.