“You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies…” 
(Psalm 23:5)

Here we are, facing another Christmas with uncertainty, fear, and doubt hanging over our preparations. As another COVID variant is fast spreading around us, anxiety, concern, and unpredictability are almost tangible. We feel robbed of joy once more, instead of the threat of infection, we should be overwhelmed with the spreading of the Good News that a Saviour was born to us, who is Christ, the LORD.

I want to share that Good News with you! You need it as much as I do! The other day I was listening to the preaching of Colin Smith, pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church, Chicago. Colin was born and raised in Edinburgh! Not a bad place that Edinburgh, is it? He was referring to Psalm 23 verse 5: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”. As he unpacked that verse I was immensely encouraged and now my prayer is that God will use that verse to encourage you also!

This verse: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” showed me the picture of our Christmas. Indeed, we are preparing to celebrate, to rejoice, but we have to do it in the presence of our enemies: COVID infection, fear, anxiety, isolation, sorrow, and illness, and perhaps many more. They are present, we know that, we feel their presence, we see them. They try to intimidate us.

But Psalm 23:5 takes us into the banquet hall of the King in His Palace. Our enemies are around us, but there is the Servant King too. He personally is preparing a banquet for Us, You, and I! He is not intimidated by our enemies. He carries on laying the table, putting out the tablecloth, the plates, the golden goblets, the silver cutlery, the decorations. All that is needed he brings them out one by one. We can smell the sweet aroma of the prepared food. And as we watch on, our enemies are doing the same, they can but watch, for they are not in charge, they are powerless, they can but stand by, they can’t do anything, the banquet preparation cannot be halted! We know they want to, but they cannot cancel the banquet! We are assured that the banquet is happening! It cannot be cancelled! They cannot stop the Servant King!

As the King is getting on with the preparation it is like He is saying to you and me: do not be afraid of them! Don’t be intimidated by their mockery and snarling! They are toothless! They are finished! (John 19:30) I have redeemed you! You are mine! Your place is reserved and secure at the table! No-one can take that away from you!

Our present Christmas is like this, isn’t it? Be of good courage! Take a step closer to the table, to the King! In His presence, in His hands no enemy may harm you!

Have a blessed, joyful, and peaceful Christmas. Be overwhelmed that a Saviour was born to you, who is Christ, the LORD! And he is preparing a table for you, no matter what!

[from GV]

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