Fence the Tables

Sharing Options

The apostle Paul does not draw the kind of antithesis we might expect between the Table of the Lord and the food we eat throughout our daily lives. In this passage from Corinthians we have been considering, he talks about the Lord’s Supper as a sacrament, the manna and water of the wilderness, meat eaten by the Levites from the Old Testament sacrifices, dinner parties thrown by pagans, meat previously offered to idols, and meat consumed in the context of idolatrous worship. We have food of all kinds discussed, and all of it relates somehow to the Table of the Lord.

Of course, the point is not that all food is strictly speaking to be thought of as the Lord’s Supper. But the point is that all food is under the authority of the Lord’s Supper. There is no such thing as autonomous food—everything we eat must be related by faith back to our right to sit down here, at this Table. We are disciplined by this; we are taught by it; we are fed by it.

Put another way, we receive strength here, strength and wisdom to eat properly elsewhere. If we do not understand what we are doing here, then how can we possibly understand the bewildering array of food that confronts us everywhere we look? If we do not understand these two simple elements, bread and wine, then how can we possibly be obedient Christians when it comes to sorting out all the questions and all the menu choices that face us three times a day? All of us spend a great deal of time putting food in our mouths. This is what God wants (He created us this way), but He wants us to do so by faith. And that means partaking rightly here, by faith, asking to be made wise.

So fence the tables by fencing the Table here.

So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.