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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

The table set in Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

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 my whole life long. ~ Psalm 23

I've always wondered about this line from the psalm: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

What exactly do you think the Psalmist means?

That God makes you sit down in front of those who hate you so that they watch you eat?

That seems a little dangerous. Hence the reminder that God is with us!

But there is truth in that statement isn't there? Part of our life means living it out in the open. Living it with the knowledge that we are going to be surrounded not just by loved ones, but also by those who wish us ill. Or at the very least, don't like us.

And yet we go about life anyway. We live anyway. We begin each day again anyway.

We live each day with the full knowledge that it most likely isn't going to completely play out the ways we wish it would.

But I think this image also invites us to something. Invites us to perhaps be inviters ourselves. Invite our enemies to the table. Invite them to join with us in a life that will be made fuller and richer by our putting our enmity aside, and joining instead in fellowship and love.

Open my heart to my enemies, Lord. Help me to welcome them to the table. Amen

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