If you were invited to a US presidential affair, you might be surprised. Unless you roam such circles or are connected to them, usually you won’t have any expectation of being invited to sit at the table with the president, unless, of course, you decide to contribute to their presidential campaign and pay a lot of money to eat mediocre food. It just isn’t going to happen.
? ┤If you were invited and accepted that invitation, how would you react to those seated with you? Would you be on “good” behavior? Would you be yourself? Would you be absolutely frozen? What if, the president came to your table and spoke with you? ├ ?
Most of us think that we would react just fine. Depending on which president or former president, we might even believe that we would correct them and “tell them the way it is.” We might.
The 70 elders ate with God. They saw the floor of God’s abode. We could just write it off as some religious experience, but that sounds pretty significant to just “write off”. In fact, writing it off is just like writing off Communion because Jesus isn’t right there. Yes, people do belittle Communion when they don’t recognize the presence of God. However, based upon how this verse is often overlooked, perhaps we’re writing off the presence of God altogether.
Yeah, I said “ouch” to myself, too.
One doesn’t “just” have a meal with God. Culturally, a meal is a safe place; it can even be a place of transparency. Eating with God. What an amazing experience!
? ┤Can you imagine eating with God? ├ ?
If you can’t, then think back to Communion. While our theology doesn’t have us literally eating the body and blood of Jesus, we are still eating with God. You eat a meal with God! Those 70 elders, and even Moses (!), will never experience what you—as a follower of Jesus—get to do regularly.
? ┤ Have you ever thought of Communion as eating a meal with God? ├ ?
At Communion, we will hear phrases as, “you are welcome” or “a guest at the table” or “God’s feast”, but do we really recognize that means that the master of ceremonies, the Creator of the Universe, the Word through whom all things were made, and for who all things were made, and the Spirit of God that gives us a life unlike any other…is eating with us?
Gracious Father, we give You praise and thanks for Holy Communion of the body and blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, the means of our redemption. We pray that the mercies of God may produce in us a grateful heart that finds expression through holy living and perfect love to God and to people. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [The Eucharistic ending prayer for the Eucharist Under Special Circumstances, The Church Rituals Handbook, 2nd Edition, Jesse Middendorf]