Every Greenville University student knows about the button placed beside the Jesus table in front of the Armington Center on campus. What started off as a nice addition to the school has turned into an array of dislike and controversy because of the money that went into it. While the students maybe should have had more of a voice in determining the next project on campus, all we can do now is see how God is working through that. We can look at how the button did not just express music. The chosen song has an intentional message to deliver to everyone, and it might just now be memorized by many people! Let’s take a look at the message it conveys.
A single push of the button will play the well-known Sidewalk Prophets song titled “Come to the Table.” The band consists of David Frey, Ben McDonald, Cal Joslin, and Justin Nace. Together, they make music that sings praises to our God. They have come a long way in the music world (and they really seemed to have started from the bottom) and they express the love in Christ in what they do. When we examine the lyrical aspect to this particular song of theirs, we discover the message that every person is welcome in God’s home. “The table” in this song refers to just that.
So, is this really true? To determine the credibility of this song and just why it may have been chosen to represent the table, we need to look into Scripture. Mark 2:13-17 states this: “While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'” If Jesus ate and engaged with sinners then, we know that He does the same today. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Anyone can come and sit at God’s table and receive eternal life for accepting and believing in Him. Jesus does not force us to do anything. However, we are invited and encouraged to come to the table; but we are never forced. This is a part of the free will that God gives everyone. The word “come” in the song expresses how we can choose Jesus; and the song dives deeper into how we will be set free once we do.
A portion of the lyrics in the song reads:
“There’s no one unwelcome here
So that sin and shame that you brought with you
You can leave it at the door
Let mercy draw you near”
Yes, our Lord eats with sinners and engages with them. When we sin, we go directly against Him and His will, but He loves us too much to let that drag us down (both literally and figuratively). He paid for it all, and now He invites us to come to the table and be friends with Him. A meal with the Savior is better than anything else.