A Table for All People

One symbol of Christianity that often gets overlooked is the table. It appears in various ways throughout the scriptures, representing provision, unity, and fellowship.

In Isaiah 25 we find a table set:

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.

After rejoicing over the fall of the “fortified city,” maybe Babylon, the prophet praises God for his provision of the poor and needy. With the oppressive city, the prophet looks towards a future in which table fellowship could be shared by all people.

This has been God’s plan all along. His choosing of a particular people is only a means to an end: bringing all people to his table. The prophet saw what would become explicit in the Gospel: that worldly empire is defeated in the cross. The violent and the oppressive and the death that gives them their power have already been subdued. We find a similar picture in Revelation 3

Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. – Revelation 3:20-21, NRSV

Instead of a fortified city, God invites us to gather at his table together. Throughout the Bible, we see God providing another way than what human civilization has to offer. He scatters the people building the Tower of Babel, he advises against the Israelites having a king, and in Jesus, he claims Caesar’s claims of saviorhood and lordship for himself. 

In Christ, God has indeed brought down the fortified city and invites all people through the power of the Spirit to gather at his table. 

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