Come To The Table
Come to the table and savor the sight
The wine and the bread that was broken
And all have been welcomed to come if they might
Accept as their own these two tokens
The bread is His body, the wine is the blood
And the One who provides them is true
He freely offers, we freely receive
To accept and believe Him is all we must do
Come to the table and taste of the glory
And savor the sorrow, He’s dying tomorrow
The hand that is breaking the bread
Soon will be broken
And here at the table sit those who have loved you
One is a traitor and one will deny
And He’s lived His life for them all
And for all be crucified
Come to the table He’s prepared for you
The bread of forgiveness, the wine of release
Come to the table and sit down beside Him
The Savior wants you to join in the feast
Come to the table and see in His eyes
The love that the Father has spoken
And know you are welcome, whatever your crime
Though every commandment you’ve broken
For He’s come to love you and not to condemn
And He offers you pardon and peace
If you’ll come to the table, you’ll feel in your heart
The greatest forgiveness, the greatest release
I’ve always quipped that my early years of following Jesus, through the discipleship of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, were marked by learning the discipline of quiet times with a Bible in one hand and a hymnal in the other. This is true, but incomplete; for a true devotional time for me would consist of a Bible in one hand, hymnal in the other, and a Michael Card CD playing in the background – in the early years it was most likely “The Life”, his profound project covering the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. If you don’t have it, get thee to itunes and do so. In the Seefeldt household, disc 1 is Advent/Christmas, and disc 2 is Holy Week.
The song quoted above is one example of Card’s writing – that he marries such a simply moving text with his lyric tenor melodies is the rest of the magic. He has shaped my soul, and I’m grateful for his gift.
Today is Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from the Latin of John 13.34 – mandatum novum do vobis, “A new commandment I give you: love one another.” Tonight’s service is a biggie in most liturgical traditions. We finally make it to the Upper Room, where Christ not only washed the feet of His disciples, but also instituted the Lord’s Supper and gave this new commandment – this mandate – mandatum – of love. Some churches go all out and do a foot washing as part of the service. Others focus more solely on the Eucharistic element of the day.
For me personally, the most moving part of Maundy Thursday is its relationship to Good Friday. For at the end of the service, the altar is stripped of all adornment, all candles, everything beautiful, and the sacrament is removed to the chapel for the night of repose – the watch night – the prayer vigil – when members of the congregation sit and keep watch until the beginning of the Good Friday service at 1.00.
Would no one stay awake with me?
Tonight, if only to redeem the failure of our ancient brothers, we will.