Holy Week. Centerpiece of The Word. Ages past and Ages future condensed into humanity’s timepiece. Seven last days in the life of The Anointed, Christ Jesus. He, the Centerpiece: The Oil. The Bread. The Wine.
Psalm 23:5 (The Voice)
You spread out a table before me,
provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
A Table Spread
Provision fresh from the hand of His Father to feed and quench. To care and soothe. Perfume. Fill and refill.
Deepest dregs consumed, replaced by Heaven’s cup of grace. As it was for Him, such is His provision for us.
In Psalm 23 – Jesus Christ’s Burial Song, one portion stood out again, eight years later –
“Often, the most substantial repast He prepares is set and arranged for us right in the thick of our fiercest enemies, both inward and outward. He holds them at bay that we might eat and drink deeply of Him.”
I’ve been “in the thick of” life inward and outward of late. I know I am not alone; these are “thick” days. Of late, my prayers have been raw and desperate sounding even to my own ears, let alone my Abba’s. I know the effect that place of soul has on me. It drives me to Jesus, Centerpiece of all my past and all my future.
“Teach Us to Pray”
Jesus lived oriented from a life of prayerfulness. He inhaled grace and exhaled mercy prayers to His Father. What was reserved for communion in the heart of the night with his Abba, was realized in the heat of the day. His disciples noticed. They already wondered what sort of man this was. Now, they were teachable.
Jesus replied, saying to them, “When you pray, say…”
We have long been familiar with The Lord’s Prayer1 and the request to “give us each day our daily bread.” One thing we can note about Jesus is that He was not a Messiah who lived or talked by rote. Repetition and routine are our forte. Not so for this Centerpiece who, though He never changes Who He is from age to age, constantly creates by His Life and His Word. Noticed by those who have eyes to see and ears to hear what His Spirit is doing and saying. Beloved disciples then, beloved disciples now.
Never has one known to the smallest need what daily sustenance looks like for those who look to His hand. A meal. A long draught of life-giving water for body and for soul. The bread of nourishment for willing sustainment to one’s spirit.
When Jesus taught us how to pray – asking for what we need, “our daily bread” was meant for the triune being that we are, made in His image. If He needed a table of provision spread before Him by the hand of His Father in Heaven, much more do we!
Should the oil and grain disappear, or the wine fail, we yet may choose to rejoice in the One in whom there is no lack.2 The Word who still speaks into being those things that are not seen as though they are. He is for us our strength – from the top of our head to our hinds’ feet, led by Him the Conqueror on our high places.3
We are called by name, every intimate detail of our lives known to Him. He never called us to succumb to our enemies. Instead, He provided himself as the Centerpiece on which our lives, natural and spiritual, feed.
Blessed Holy Week, beloveds of Christ Jesus. Our King is alive and reigns forevermore!
1 Luke 11:1-4 to 13; Matthew 6:5-15 2 Habakkuk 3:17-19 3 personal high places of challenge and responsibility
Photo credit: Pixabay by Isaiasmanica1
©2023 Nancy C. Bentz – Author’s permission granted to forward this devotional piece in its entirety, including this copyright line. Comments and subscriptions to this blog are welcome.