You are poor. You don’t wear the best clothes or have the trendiest haircut. You moved into a new kingdom some time ago because you had heard about the King being kind and loving, but hadn’t really had the chance to get to know Him yet. One day you receive an invitation in the mail for a banquet with the King. You triple check the address just to make sure it was supposed to be in your mailbox. Surely someone had made a mistake, but it has your name on it as clear as day. You find your nicest clothes, the outfit with the least amount of stains. Wash up and comb your hair. After a day working in the fields, you hope you don’t smell too bad.
You arrive at the palace. The servants usher you into the banquet room, so the invitation wasn’t a mistake at least. You figure you better sit at the far end of the table, wouldn’t want to offend any of the “upper-class” people. You get a glimpse of the King. He’s majestic and surrounded by servants and people who probably own the field you were working in all day. The servant asks you what you want to eat and you simply answer that you’ll have bread and water. Better to not make a fuss, even though the other guests’ food smells amazing. The servant looks at you quizzingly, but shrugs and goes to fill your order. Meanwhile you look around the room, it is beautiful and pristine. Are they sure you should be there? The servant brought you bread and water like you asked. The bread was the best you had ever had, and the water had a slight sparkle to it. It was the best “meal” you’ve had in a long time.
You are so engrossed in the room and the other foods that you don’t notice someone walk up behind you. The stranger puts His hand on your shoulder and you jump a little. As you turn to see who it is, you notice how strong yet soft the hand is, then the strong arms covered in a white robe. Then you see His face. It’s the King! Oh no! Certainly, you must not be there, He’s come to escort you out, you think. Yet His eyes are kind and He gives you a simple smile. “Welcome to my banquet,” He says, “Have you had plenty to eat?” You fumble over your words and offer a quick nod. Don’t want to seem needy, right? He says to you, “I noticed you when you walked in.” Oh no! You think to yourself, fearing the worst. “Please, Lord, I received an invitation in the mail. I cleaned up best I could and didn’t eat much. I’m sorry if I offended You,” you shake as you explain yourself, dropping your eyes to your feet.
He puts His finger under your chin and lifts your head so that you must look at Him. “My child, please do not apologize. I noticed you and watched you from afar for a while. You are humble and I appreciate that.” You listen in disbelief. “I am going to have my servants get you new clothes and bring you whatever you want to eat!” You start to tear up. “I love you, child, come sit next to me and talk with me. I want to hear all about you and your life!”
His warmth and love seems to radiate from His body and words. You follow Him up to the front of the table, sit down to the best foods and drinks. He summons the servants, who bring Him a basin of water and towels. He proceeds to wash your feet. The servants take you away to change your clothes. They give you extra to take home too!
You come back to the table and talk with the King for what seems like forever. He explains that He loves all those in His Kingdom and desires for them all to come to His table. To feast off His goodness and let Him refresh their souls. Being in His Kingdom doesn’t just mean His calls you His own, but He wants to be friends with all His citizens as well! All those “upper-class” people you noticed when you walked in? They were all like you. Beggars, dirty, smelly, only thinking they were worth bread and water. Until they accepted the King’s goodness, feasted at His table, and became His friends.
So… what’s your relationship like with the King? He invites you to His table, not as a servant or beggar, but as a friend. To dine with Him and to have a relationship with Him. He loves you, dearest, and wants to clothe you in His righteousness. Come to His table!
PS – this was not based on the song below on purpose, it just fits