The Royal Banquet

How inconceivable is the honour put upon us when we are gathered together in the Name of the Lord. God is the Host and we are His guests, and He sets before us a royal banquet. "He brought me into His banqueting house and His banner over me was love." As the certain great King of the parable, made a marriage feast for his son, so has God made a feast, a joyful feast, for the honour of His Son. He would celebrate His delight in His Son and in all that He achieved in His lowly life and death in this world, and we are called to share in His delight and to feast with Him.

And the Holy Ghost has come to be the Servant at the feast. I speak with the greatest reverence of so august a Person — "He shall glorify Me," said the Lord, "for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 16). And if, because we delight in God's beloved Son, we hasten to the time and the place where His own are gathered to feast upon His things, the Father, the Host at the feast, delights in us, "For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me," "His banner over me is love."

It is necessary if we are to enter into the fullness of the Faith and its fellowship, to understand that the Father and the Holy Spirit are blessedly engaged in this matter. They have reached out even to us to draw us into the joy of this feast. Think of the Lord's words, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but My Father which is in heaven." The Father had been at work preparing Simon for the feast, and He has been at work in every one into whose hearts this heavenly light has shone. And again "When the Comforter is come, whom I will send from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me!" Thus spake the Lord of the Father and the Holy Spirit. If the Father draws us to the feast — and no man can come to the Son except the Father draw him — the Holy Ghost is there to unfold love's treasures and to spread before our souls the preciousness of Christ.

We feed, of course, for nourishment and strength; but feasting in Scripture also carries the meaning of joy and rejoicing and communion together. "I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved." I feel that we may with utmost reverence, consider these words as describing God's joy in His beloved Son, and His invitation to us to share without restriction in His joy. I know that our vessels are small, the limit is on our side, nevertheless our cups may run over.

We are conscious of course that preparation of heart is necessary if we are to partake of this feast. We are careful to appear clean and decent as to our dress out of respect for our brethren when we gather together, much more should we be concerned as to our spiritual condition before God. It would be a slight upon God who invites us if we were not. He looks not on the outward appearance but on the heart. So we "draw near, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." May God Himself teach us the meaning of that, and also those words of the Lord. "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me" (John 13).

The Father is the Host; His delight in His beloved Son is the feast, and the Holy Ghost gives the capacity and the power to every guest to share in the feast. Truly we may ask, What manner of persons ought we to be upon whom such an honour is bestowed? And what attraction can the world have for those who have supped at God's table in communion with Him? May the Lord give grace to everyone, that we may each cleanse himself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of God.