Then You Qualify

We gather around this Table, week after week, month after month, and year and year. The mere fact that we do this means that we are defining the boundaries of our lives by it. At the same time, we are responsible to understand what is happening here, so that we do not drift into a faithless observance.

Jesus said, “Take and eat,” not “Take and dispute,” or “Take and study,” or “Take and torment yourself.” This does not mean that there is no place for study or disputation or self-examination. But we must do all such things thoughtfully, that is to say, with wisdom.

If we study foolishly, or debate foolishly, or examine ourselves foolishly, we will always find ourselves, at the end of the process, disobeying the one thing we were explicitly commanded to do, which is, “Take and eat, take and drink.”

Any study of obedience that ends in disobedience is to be rejected. Rather, we embrace the truth that obedience is the great opener of eyes. As we come, as we eat, as we drink, as we discern the Body of Christ in one another, we grow up into wisdom. We are not commanded to get wisdom so that we will then be qualified to come to the Table. We are commanded to come to the Table so that we might get wisdom. The wise woman of Proverbs tells the simple to come to her Table.

This is wisdom here. Are you foolish? Then come. The wine is deep red, a deep wisdom. Are you simple? Then drink. The bread is nourishing, and designed to fill the hungry. Are you hungry? Then come. The Table is set. The place is reserved for you, and you were not invited because you have your spiritual act together. You were invited, I was invited, precisely because we don’t.

Are you a spiritual mess? Then, glory to God, you qualify. This is a Table set with nothing but the grace of God. Do not dare to turn it into something else. Take and eat. Take and drink.

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