A Table for the Riff-Raff

This is a Table set for sinners. But because sinners is a Bible word, many of us slip into our church-going trance, and we don’t rightly consider the ramifications of such a statement. This is a Table for riff-raff. This is a Table for losers. This is a Table for self-righteous fussers. Are you all screwed up? That is good news indeed—you qualify!

“Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him” (Matt 21:31b-32).

If you are here, if you have come, this means that you are presenting yourself here as someone who does not deserve to be here. The world has its tables for the deserving, but you cannot find that here.

Grace is not a theology-word only, grace is a reality that invites you to drop everything and come. You must drop your sins, which is what repentance is, but having sins to drop is not a disqualification in the slightest. Are you an adulterer? Then come. Are you a thief? Then come. Have you had an abortion? Then come.

 

“Wait, wait,” someone will say. “Don’t you need to say ‘drop your sin’ with every invitation?” Don’t you need to mention true repentance every other sentence? Not really. Grace is not something you can turn to without simultaneously turning away from that which is not grace. And all sin is not grace. You cannot turn toward the north wall without turning away from the south wall. You cannot turn toward the Mt. Gerizim without turning away from Mt. Ebal. You cannot turn toward this Table without turning away from the table of demons. So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.

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