Faith and Banquets

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20 NLT.

I received an invitation to celebrate with some dear friends, their transition from being lead pastors for forty years of Joy Church in Medford, Oregon, to be overseers of the other churches Joy has birthed over the years. We have known them for about 39 of those 40 years! I am so happy for them.

After I received notification of this special day, I asked my daughter Elizabeth if she could go with me. It is about a ten-hour drive, and I thought it would be a blessing to have company and she knows these dear folks, too. She talked it over with her husband, Tim, and he decided it would be a great opportunity to expose his family to this legacy blessing. Steve and Kim Schmelzer are releasing their position as lead pastor to their daughter- and son-in-law, Natalie and Riley Aman. I actually met Kim and Steve soon after the birth of their firstborn, Jacob, who is now pastoring in Eugene, Oregon. Each of their four children serve the Lord in some very special ways.

One part of this special weekend is a semi-formal banquet, held at the local country club. I am sure the food will be great, but I am looking forward to the fellowship we will share with those that love Joy and their leaders. It is about the people. I don’t have many occasions to dress up. In fact, the word “semi-formal” kind of through me. But, I want to celebrate with them, so I will comply because it isn’t about me, it’s about the purpose. I found something I think will be appropriate. I don’t want to embarrass my hosts, but give them the honor that is due them.

My pastor has been sharing about this verse, Revelation 3:20, and it’s been good. But the part that he hasn’t gotten to is what happens after we open the door! We get to “sup” with him, as the KJV says. Share a meal with Jesus. Now that is something to look forward to. Every time we hear him knocking and we open the door, we have the opportunity to share a spiritual meal with him. Oh my friends, so many wonderful conversations take place over food.

Thinking back in scripture, there are many types of banquets described. Joseph prepared a special meal for his brothers; Esther prepared one for king and Haman; Abraham had a great feast when Isaac was weaned. These examples were more than just giving bodies nourishment. They set the opportunity for critical conversations to take place. Our Life Group has learned the joy and fellowship of eating together. There is something about sharing food that relaxes people, promotes conversation and strengthens bonds. But how much more is our time of supping with our King?

When I have opened the door and invited Jesus to spend time together, I am changed. Peace comes. Troubles seem to flee and hope is born. He brings the “kind of food you know nothing about”. John 4:32 NLT. It feels like I am at a banquet spread, for one. During our conversations, I can be reproved and corrected, but it is ok. I am left wanting to make those corrections. It is a time where we can taste and see that the Lord is good. It is a time where our lukewarm hearts lit on fire. But, it as the Holy Spirit and our Lord are both gentleman. They will only come where they are invited. We must look, listen and open the door of our hearts and let Him in. Let Him prepare the menu. It is always satisfying and refreshing. A banquet meal takes time to savor.

I know the celebration for my friends would take place whether we come or not. But I know there is a blessing for each side when the invitation is received and accepted. My joy is to celebrate with them, pray for them and be open to encourage those I meet. It’s simple. God will orchestrate the rest, as He wills.

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