This coming week, most of us will be sitting at a table filled with the blessing of abundant food. It is a widely anticipated meal with all the special elements of past memories and making future memories. It is a time of verbally giving God thanks for all he has provided to each of us.
As wonderful as that spread might be, there is another underlying element around that table. In some of your homes, we could be looking at the faces of up to five generations who are sharing the meal. That’s a big deal! No doubt, God knows how to plan a feast and he has specific tastes for special occasions. But the food was never the intent of the gathering. When God sets a table of thanksgiving, he sees generations.
In our world today, we tend to live in the “now.” We scurry through our schedules as we maintain jobs, family, entertainment, and health. We strive to prioritize the immediate needs of each day. It is a full-time endeavor. There was a time, however, when people had to think beyond themselves and their immediate environment. Occupations were chosen to pass on to the generations after them. Homesteads were built with the children and grandchildren in mind. Properties were purchased for family linage. People lived with the next generation in mind.
God thinks in terms of generations. He is the Lord of history who weaves the stories of each individual, generation and nation for His eternal purpose. In Genesis, for example, God gives an account of the lives of individuals beginning with “these are the generations of . . .” (5:1, 6:9, 10:1, 25:19, 37:2) and then the story is told. His purpose for each of us is far greater than any one individual alone or any one lifetime.
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.
That the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children.
What will be your focus at the table? For sure, enjoy the abundance of God’s physical blessings.
But take a moment when all the chatter is happening that you fade it all out and look at who God sees at the table. If you are a grandparent of one or two generations, look through God’s eyes at the legacy He sees. If you are a parent, look on whose shoulders you stand and about what you are leaving after you. If you are a first-generation Christian, be resolved to have this vision for the generations after you. God is reminding all: “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.”
That is what sitting at the table of God’s heart looks like.