Prior to fast food dinners out, setting the table was a daily chore delegated by parents to teach their children about how to properly prepare before each meal. Beyond laying out table arrangements, this term has been adopted by other avenues. Baseball uses this analogy to encourage players to get into scoring position so that power hitters can drive them home. After reading a passage of the Bible today, this saying also relates to a spiritual principle.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way,” Mark 1:2.
If you want to change the hearts, minds and souls of other people, a foundation must be set. There needs to be a beacon of light, pointing the way through their actions, behavior and words. Although I never thought of it in this manner, John the Baptist set the table for Jesus. Inspired by a chance to come clean, purge bad habits and verbally profess their shortcomings, John developed a large following who sought forgiveness. Despite his success, John recognized that he was only a small piece to life’s puzzle, ready to pass the baton to the Savior of the world.
I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit,” Mark 1:8.
Hidden within John’s words is the realization that his ministry was temporary, unable to permanently change individuals. However, the real Messiah will offer an invisible power called the Holy Ghost in the King’s James Version. While the power of sin will continue to cause the masses to fall prey to addiction, character flaws and poor decisions. The hope of the Holy Spirit provides an anointing that can lead to freedom. May the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-15 lead you to usher in heaven while living on earth as you set the table for future generations of faith.
by Jay Mankus