Summary: Thanksgiving Service Invitation to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Theme: Jesus has a table spread
Text: John 21:9-12 King James Version (KJV)
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
One of the highlights of Thanksgiving each year is the careful preparation of a sumptuous meal for friends and family. Though mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie usually end up on the thanksgiving table. It is the oversized poultry that is the guest of honor and is nationally designated meat of choice. Every year 46 million turkeys are cooked for Thanksgiving in America. But how do you prepare it? And even more pertinent, how is a turkey cooked? Fried, baked, boiled, broiled, curried, sautéed? One way to find out is to switch on the Food Network. Cooking shows have gained prominence on network TV over the last three decades. The Food Network features world class chefs who devise and prepare culinary marvels that whet the pallet and cause the mouth to salivate profusely like a Pavlovian dog. I have had the pleasure of feasting at world renown restaurants on five continents and in the islands of the Caribbean Sea. From seafood and vegetarian delights to grilled meats and carefully crafted sauces, mouth-watering cakes, pies, puddings, ice creams and a plethora of refreshing drinks my appetite has been satiated by these kitchen architects. Recently, I have taken on a greater role in the kitchen at our home. I remember the time I cooked something when our children were younger. Candace looked at it and said she was not hungry. Crystal saw it and ran away, and my wife because of her great love for me, ate a few bites. For many years I stayed away from the kitchen but recently I returned. Cooking is no easy task, but it certainly can be enjoyable. Like a surgeon, maybe that’s too presumptuous, like a butcher, I use Sharp knives, kitchen appliances, dishes, pots, stove tops and ovens designed to facilitate this ancient art have been my allies in this once female only domain. Today’s kitchens are not just a woman’s world, and a significant number of members of my gender have invaded this delicious domain. But let me hasten to say, of all the male cooks, bakers, chefs and grillers who have ever dared to put fire to food, of all the males who have fed the human race, One and only one stands out for me and I would really love to taste His cooking. I would like to have been on that seashore in Galilee that early spring morning of AD 28 when He said to that group of weary, worn out fishermen, “come and dine.” There have been times when my wife would say “dinner is ready,” and I would respond, “just a minute.” Nothing aggravates a cook like when you take long, sweet time to get to the table and by the time you get there the food is cold. You see, every good meal must be hot and for some of us spicy. Even talking about it now, my mouth is watering. Just imagine, Jesus inviting you to His table. What will be on the menu. Bread and fish of course, but don’t be surprised, will He have other mouth-watering dishes of course Trinidad Roti, Jamaican jerk-chicken, baked macaroni, Liberian Collard-greens, Chinese Pork fried-rice, American Prime-rib, British fish and chips? You may say “pastor you are just making this up. Well, I am not. I have a Bible reference, Revelation 19:9 says you and I have been invited to a major banquet to celebrate a marriage. It will take place not long from now. Jesus began His ministry on earth sitting at a table at a wedding banquet. He sat at the table and had dinner at the house of Simon the tax-collector when Mary Magdalene washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Twice He spread a table on the mountainside when He miraculously provided a meal of bread and fish from five loaves and two fishes, on the hillside for five thousand men (not counting women and children) at one time (Matthew 14:17), and for four thousand men from seven loaves and a few small fishes (Matthew 15:34). He sat at the table went to the home of Zacchaeus for supper (Luke 19:5). He often ate Martha’s cooking with Lazarus at their Bethany home (John 11), instituted the Communion at the Last Supper with His twelve disciples (Luke 22:15-20). Then in John 21:9-12 Jesus prepared a meal of bread and fish for His disciples on the Galilean shore and called them to “come and dine.” Though that must have been some good eating, a bigger banquet is coming and we learn of it in Revelation 19:7-9 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God.”