At the Lord's Table
Several weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the dedication service of newly renovated rooms at the Akademie für Welt Mission (Academy for World Mission) in Korntal, Germany. Dr. Traugott Hopp, the director of this Christian ministry, which equips Christian leaders from around Europe in world missions, gave a challenging message on the meaning of “dedication.” Dedication is defined as “devoting or setting aside for a particular purpose.” In other words, to dedicate something is to “devote” it to God. That’s why we have baby dedications; a symbol that parents devote or commit their child to God.
During this talk, Traugott explained the meaning of the altar, which was placed at the front of the room. He described how believers have always ascribed specific meaning to the architecture of church buildings and its furniture inside. He reminded us that the altar symbolizes “Der Tisch des Herrn” – “The table of the LORD” and is placed at the front of most churches and chapels to remind us that we are invited to take a seat at His table.
It was a moving experience for me to be reminded that the altar is something very beautiful and special. My Heavenly Father invites me to sit and dine with Him…to talk with Him…to experience relationship with Him. What a beautiful picture of how much God loves me!
I love to eat! I believe most of us love to eat. As I was listening to Traugott’s message I thought to myself, “this idea of sitting at the table with Jesus makes perfect sense.” The reason we enjoy eating so much is because we usually do it with someone else—either with our co-workers during lunch or with family or friends at dinner. I believe that is why we enjoy going to cafes or bars. It’s not about the coffee or the beer; it’s about the people we meet there! We go to these places because they allow us to connect with other people—with individuals who listen to us and care about us. We all long for community—for relationships! Why? Because God created us this way. We long for relationships because they make us feel whole and complete; they give us a sense of security and belonging, which in turn gives us a sense of purpose and direction. We were created for relationships. And…we were created to experience a personal relationship with God Himself.
And this idea of being invited to sit a the table of God so that we can commune with Him and just sit and rest in His presence, listening to what He has to say, is something we at China Partner desire to pass on to our friends in China. There are so many Chinese that still don’t know that they are invited to sit at His table.
We are the ones who want and need to let them know. We want to be the ones who invite them to experience this amazing relationship they can have with God. And we do this by equipping church leaders and pastors with practical tools so that they will be more effective in reaching the future generation in their country.
Thanks for partnering with us in making Jesus known in the largest country in the world. Thanks for being a part of inviting people to sit at “The table of the LORD”!
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!” (Psalms 23:5-6)