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A Table Before Me
By: Chris Culver
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
–Psalm 23:5-6


  Tonight we will not be having midweek Bible studies because many of us will be traveling for Thanksgiving. Whether you are traveling or staying in town, I hope you are eating a great meal with people you love. Who you eat with can make or break a meal. In seventh grade who you ate lunch with was pretty much who you were. You couldn't just walk into the lunch room and sit down with whomever you wanted! You had to find your place. Nothing invoked fear and the pity of both teachers and students like having to sit by yourself at lunch. The popular kids were always having the best time. They were loud and sure of themselves, confident in their acceptance and place. Others sat as far away from them as they could get, eating their hexagonal Mexican pizzas as fast as they could, trying to will time to pass faster because they were not safe. I pray all of you will be somewhere with those you love and who love you.   For those of us that will be somewhere with plenty of love and food I pray we eat our fill and are satisfied. I pray this satisfaction points us to Christ. Feasts and being well fed in the Bible are typically signs of God's blessing, a time when no one is hungry, a time when no one is left out. In his most well known psalm David writes that God prepares a feast for him slap dab in the middle of his enemies and his enemies can do nothing but watch. We live in the midst of enemies. We are surrounded by things God has already defeated but are still with us for a little while longer. We are waiting to see the end of addiction, poverty, injustice, death, and sin. So enjoy this Thanksgiving meal in the presence of your enemies knowing you are secure in Christ. Command your heart to be filled with gratitude for Christ from whom all blessings flow.   But we wait and we long for His return that the victory might be realized here as it is in heaven. The painful events in Ferguson this week reminded me how desperately I want Jesus to come soon. I hope you all return full and safe for the start of the Advent season on Sunday. If you have never observed Advent, it is a wonderful time of year when we focus more intently on the coming of the King. The promise of Christmas is that the deepest longing of your heart has come to earth to find you and will come again to live with you forever. There is nothing so safe and filling as that promise.