First Tuesday of Advent: The Supper of the Lamb
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
—Revelation 19:6-9 (See Revelation 19)
Last Father’s Day, my husband received a smoker grill, and now he loves to show it off. It smokes all day, and as his homemade rub slowly drips through the meat, the smell seems to waft throughout the entire neighborhood.
The process is equal parts miracle and torture, reintroducing the idea of waiting to all our senses. In a very basic and immediate way, we are forced to be content with a small taste of the goodness that is to come. We can smell. We can see. We can imagine what is coming…but we have to wait.
This isn’t the only waiting we do.
As part of our ministry to student athletes at Edinboro University, many of the meals we prepare are served to college students. We yearn for them to experience the blessing of hospitality, but inviting young people into our home is often a summons to an odd flavor of waiting.
The concept of RSVPing to a host is not equally understood across this cadre of young men and women.
In other words, we don’t hear back from everyone who is planning to come. We prepare food in large quantities and then we pray...and we wait.
We never know exactly who will show up, or how many.
In addition, we are never really sure about how the food will be received—even slow-smoked pork and brisket! The joy of the feast and fellowship is not really tasted and understood until they arrive. We invite, we prepare, we pray and then…we wait.
As we prepare these meals and cast out the invitations, we are forced to wait and rely on God's faithfulness and love. He loves these students far more than we do, so we trust that God is calling and bringing whom He wants.
We remind ourselves that the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
During these times of trusting and waiting, we are also reminded of Advent, and specifically, of the feast that awaits us—the wedding feast of the Lamb. And as we wonder if students will choose to come, my husband and I have sometimes found ourselves wondering how we might be the same challenge or frustration to our Lord.
Jesus invites us, prepares the feast…and waits.
Do we RSVP? Do we show up? What are we like when we do?
In Revelation, it says, "The Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints."
My husband and I ask ourselves, are we ready? Will our deeds clothe us in fine linen?
And then, the exaltation in verse nine: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”
Yes, we are blessed.
Waiting for the meal remains for us a powerful reminder and illustration of the important disciplines of inviting, preparing, and waiting.
Why? Because we long for Christ’s return. And we pray and work and long for the students coming to our feast to be blessed.
Come! The Lord’s hospitality awaits.
—Sandie Starr Everhart, CCO Campus Ministry Staff at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania