An Invitation to the Table ~ Isaiah Series ~ Part 2
~ Isaiah Series ~
An Invitation to the Table
A few weeks ago, one of the pastors at my church asked to borrow my kitchen table to act as a prop of sorts during his sermon that weekend. I knew we would be starting a new sermon series (on Isaiah) that week and I was curious to see what my simple little kitchen table had to do with this ancient book of prophecy.
So I said yes, made arrangements for my best friend’s husband to come by and load up the table and chairs onto the bed of his truck for me, and then ate breakfast at our kitchen island for a few days.
I showed up at church that weekend with no idea how impactful it would be for me to see my very own kitchen table up on stage when my pastor got to the climax of his message that day. As he walked over to the table towards the end of his sermon and talked about what Isaiah 1:18 meant, I could feel my adrenaline pumping. I knew God was talking to me, wanting me to listen closely.
To be honest, I haven’t been able to see my humble little table quite the same way ever since.
Because, you see, I had never really thought of Isaiah’s prophecies and admonitions in the way in which my pastor framed it that weekend.
In the context of a whole heap of rebellion and foolishness and sin and mistreatment towards each other, the Lord said (through the prophet Isaiah) this to His kids:
“Come now, let us settle the matter…”
While some might view this sentence as a finger-pointing, accusatory, “Now look here, you big poo-heads” threatening type of statement… when you look at the context of this verse, especially at the second part of it (which says “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool”), it becomes clear that this phrase, and indeed the whole message of Isaiah, was actually more of an invitation to join God at the kitchen table.
The kitchen table. It is where families and friends eat meals together, talk about their days together, and laugh and get to know each other more. It is the place where “family meetings” often take place in many households. It is where moms and dads sit their teenagers down to have heart-to-heart conversations— about grades, about curfew violations, about boy-girl relationships, about finances, about planning for what to do after high school. Dreaming and vision-casting happen at the kitchen table. Discipline and brainstorming happen at the kitchen table. Epiphanies happen at the kitchen table. The kitchen table is where, regardless of size or position in the family, people can see eye to eye and can, if done in a healthy way, have healthy, helpful, deep discussions about what really matters in life.
The kitchen table is where I sat with my parents when we talked about finances, “house rules,” and tricky relationship dynamics throughout my adolescence.
It is the place where my husband and kids and I sit at least a few times a week and, over dinner, talk about what is going on in each other’s lives. It’s where we invite our friends to sit with us when we want to enjoy a good home-cooked meal together. It’s where we laugh and tease each other and play games and make plans for the future.
It’s a safe, comfortable space to me.
And so when God says “Come now, let us settle the matter,” and then immediately goes on to say that His aim is to purify and forgive me— I cannot help but accept His invitation. I cannot help but respond by pulling up a chair, sitting down, and saying in response:
“You want to “settle the matter” so that we can move on to the good, pure, better stuff in life? Yeah, okay, God. Great idea. I’ll come sit with you awhile. Let’s talk.”
I am so grateful that God is constantly inviting us into eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart relationships with Him. I’m so grateful He wants to take time out to reflect with us, to talk about hard things, and to shower His purifying love on us. For our own good. Because He wants us to be who He has created us to be. And He wants a deeper, more intimate relationship with us.
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Over the next several weeks, as I continue to dive into Isaiah, and as my church studies this book in depth during our weekend services, I am going to be sharing my thoughts here on the blog. I would love if you joined me. And feel free to listen to the solid teaching happening on the weekends if you feel so inclined. (Click here to listen to the sermon series.)
I look forward to hashing out this incredible ancient book with you.
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What about you?
What does the kitchen table represent to you? How does it make you feel to know that God wants to “settle the matter” by cleansing and forgiving you of all you’ve ever done?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.