Communion With the Lord
(Song of Songs 2:4, Psalm 23:5)
Most times I write, the title comes to me quickly. It was not so today. We are in a time of trouble that has come upon the whole earth. In the natural, it feels a bit like a wartime. I do not want to spend much time in those thoughts. My intent in writing today is far different. As recent events began to unfold, the Lord drew me into a time alone with Him. He brought me again to Song of Songs and a theme He had emphasized many months ago. He has a table set for us, always. We can live at that table.
Some of you may know of Thom Gardner who has had a fruitful ministry which includes authoring some books. I have read three and one of those addresses coming to a table with others where true relationship can grow. It’s important to come to the table without an agenda, without an expected outcome. We learn to listen. I have seen this operate wonderfully with my wife Augusta. I must say that is not always the case but when we talk in the right spirit, something genuine happens. We hear each other. That is the key.
So it is with the Lord. And there, as it was with Mary in Bethany, we learn at Jesus’ feet. Yet Jesus lifts us up, inviting us to sit at the table where He sits. He so invited them at Laodicea when He invites them to share a meal. It is so at that last Passover meal when He tells the 12 that He had earnestly desired to share that meal with them. That is very strong language He uses there. The word lust could be used but that has too many other connotations for many of us. It was an intense desire for communion, a depth of committed relationship that cannot be taught, that Jesus desired. It can only be experienced. Jesus was about to do something that would so change the very lives of all that table. It would have an eternal impact.
Without spending too many words on a tangent, the disciples had been on a high ride for 3-1/2 years. While much opposition and danger existed, daily victories happened. The triumphal entry, as we call it, had occurred. That was going to appear to come crashing down. The next 3 days or so were going to be devastating. These would be followed by 50 days of amazing revelation and understanding and the explosion at Pentecost. Talk about an acceleration! But this is all about a depth of relationship that is so profound. Jesus was about to destroy the very power of death. He had foreshadowed it in Bethany by raising Lazarus. Interesting to mention that place again. He had spent time there simply sitting at a table with them. Jesus knew Lazarus and loved him.
Are we spending such time with Him? The bride, the Shulamite, sings this, “He brought me to His banqueting house and His banner over me is love.” So much is buried in those words. I found again that the marginal translation for “banqueting house” shows it literally means “house of wine.” What a different level of meaning. For me, wine speaks of joy. The bridegroom brings His own, His bride to a house of joy. Do you hear again His prayer in John 17? He wants us to share in His joy. Yes, the way to that joy is through the cross. For the joy set before us we must also endure.
David wrote of his Shepherd, “He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies.” Paul much later writes that we are seated with Him in the heavenlies. There, we sit above the churn of these earthly troubles. From there, we can move about in this world bringing His life. In a recent prayer meeting (on-line of course), a brother shared about this being a time of rest. I think it is so. Personally, it has been like nothing I have ever known before. I have been sifted and He has shown Himself faithful. I am being drawn closer and everything that can be shaken, has been well shook. His kingdom remains. All the rest of this will surely pass away.