Growing up for me meant family. I come from a family of six and our extended family gathering together was even bigger. My dad’s family had eight and my mom’s also had six. Holidays for us meant a lot of family time.
I love that on occasion we are still able to carry on these things with our own children.
Now, if we have an occasion to get together we will. Sitting down together, having a meal, and sharing our time with one another is very important. There have also been many times when we have welcomed friends to our house to join in our family gatherings.
David was King of Israel. He followed the reign of Saul. David was best friends with Saul’s son, Jonathan. On many occasions, Saul would bring David into his family by having them dine with them and play music.
If you don’t know the tragic story of King Saul and David you can read it in 2 Samuel. Saul became very jealous of David and eventually spent many years tracking him down in attempts to kill him. In the process of all their time together David and Saul’s son, Jonathan became best friends.
In fact, 2 Samuel 18 says their souls were knit together. They became like brothers. In the end, Jonathan even tried to help David escape Saul’s torment by giving him insider family information.
David treasured this relationship with Jonathan. When Jonathan died, it was like David has lost his very own brother. (2 Samuel 1)
After Jonathan’s death, David was greatly grieved. He was so moved by their friendship and brotherhood that he wanted to remember him and honor his family.
David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Samuel 9:1 (NIV)
David called for Saul’s servant, Ziba, that remained over the house of Saul.
The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” 2 Samuel 9:3 (NIV)
Called to the Table
Ziba told David of Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. He didn’t tell him his name but told David that he was lame, or he had two bad feet. As a small child, he was dropped by his maidservant and it damaged his feet greatly. This had become his identity. This has become his lot in life. After the death of his father, Jonathan, he was left to this desolate life. Because of it, he felt no worth.
When Mephibosheth came to David he bowed down before him. I imagine their dramatic family stories were shared. I imagine he somewhat feared David because of David’s response to Him.
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
Called to the table. Could there be a higher honor? Someone called to the table became family. It was a person that was cared for. To sit at the king’s table meant he wanted you in his company.
David does something extraordinary here. He remembers his dear friend Jonathan and because of their relationship, Mephibosheth is called to eat with a king. To eat like a king and in the presence of the king.
This story has such amazing parallels with us in Christ.
Inviting People In
Growing up, I didn’t know anything different. When we had family gatherings, my family always welcomed people in. We invited them to join us for holidays and family gatherings.
One of the things I love about gathering at my parent’s house is that there is always an occasion. It didn’t matter if there was a birthday or holiday, it could have just been a good night for a cookout. There was always an occasion to gather the family. All we needed was a good meal and great conversation.
This past Thanksgiving, we invited my parent’s neighbor over for dinner. We always invite him and occasionally he comes. His response is always the same. I feel like I am intruding on your family. Our response is always the same. We love having you and you are never intruding.
I saw him in the grocery store a few days later and he was telling me the same thing. I feel like I am intruding and I reminded him that we love having him and he is always welcome. He told me that my dad offered him a piece of pie. “With ice cream or whipped topping, how will you take it,” my dad asked.
Well, he liked it with ice cream. So my dad got in the car. Went to the grocery store and bought some ice cream. I didn’t know that. My dad really is the best. The neighbor was so tickled he was telling the cashier at the grocery store on the way out.
Seated with Jesus
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by his grace you have been saved! And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6 (BSB)
I love these verses! They give us this amazing glimpse into who we are in Christ. These verses are power-packed with our identity in Christ.
Can you make a list? Go through these verses phrase by phrase. If you have made the decision to put your faith and trust in Christ, this is your place. You are seated with Christ Jesus. That is awesome!
Like David called Mephibosheth out of his kindness for the sake of His father. Christ has called us out of His great love for us to be in His presence with our Father.
He has called us to sit at the King’s table. He has given us a permanent place card. Our place is secure in the Heavenly Realms with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In Christ, our reservations have been made. What a glorious gathering it will be!
We Are Alive In Christ!
God love for us is so great. He has not only invited us in when we put our faith and trust in Him, He has given us a place of position. This place is a place of inheritance. This place, though we were once dead, has made us ALIVE!
I hope you feel alive in Christ today. You are made new. You are seated with Him in a place of honor. His family gathering will have a place just for YOU!
Have a wonderful week.
In the Comments below, I would love to hear what you do with your family for the holidays. I would love to hear what your favorite family tradition is and any other holiday traditions that you love to share.
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