In the presence of my enemies
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:5-6)
It's been that kind of year. Hard.
I know you understand.
You know what it's like to sit surrounded by enemies,
to know that people are not what they always portray themselves to be, even while they sit next to you and join your life.
You know that anyone can say "Lord, Lord," even while they hurt the Church and the world.
So you inspired David to sing:
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies... my cups overflows." (Psalm 23:5)
You chose Israel as your special people,
even though they worshipped idols and forgot you again and again.
You chose Judas Iscariot to be one of your twelve most intimate friends.
You knew he'd betray you, and you picked him anyway.
You let him help your enemies kill you.
You know our frailties and our faults,
our strongholds and our sins,
and you love us anyway.
So whenever I feel surrounded by enemies and misunderstood by friends,
I want to remember how you behaved toward your enemies.
How you called them to you.
How you extended forgiveness to the ones who wanted it
and you walked away from the ones who didn't.
But you always give people a chance to be better than their biggest weakness.
And when they don't, you love them anyway.
When I don't change, you love me anyway.
But you also administer justice.
You do not leave the righteous forsaken.
You champion the rights of the downtrodden.
Sometimes, you even surround us with our enemies and lay a lavish spread in front of us--
a victory feast--
to remind all of us that you are always unintimidated and undefeated.
"His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies." (Psalm 10:5)
Your ways are perfect.
Your will for me is never thwarted, no matter what other people do.
No matter what I do. If I repent, you put me back at the table you prepared for me.
I sing your praises, and I feast in the presence of those who have removed themselves from the sound of your voice and the presence of your company.
I sit next to you. At your feet. In your presence.
You are king, and you head the table of my life.
In Jesus' name,
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