come to the table
“You have been invited to dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House!”
When my husband told me this, I could hardly believe it. Wait, what? Is this a joke? I truly thought this had to be some kind of mistake—but turns out, it wasn’t. I saw it with my own eyes when the beautiful, handwritten invitation arrived in the mail, late July. Addressed to “The Reverend Greg Laurie and Mrs. Laurie” with a return address that simply said, “The White House, Washington, D.C.” As I held it in my hand, I realized this was really going to happen.
It seemed like such a far-fetched idea. Me? Invited to dinner at the White House? Who am I to have such an honor! Regardless of who is President, you don’t say no to an opportunity like this. You just don’t. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime invitation.
Naturally, the next question in my mind (of course) was what in the world am I going to wear? Mrs. Trump and the President’s daughter, Ivanka, would be there and I wanted to dress appropriately for the occasion. I didn’t want to look back on this in ten or twenty years and say, “What in the world was I thinking when I chose that outfit?”
I searched the internet for images of past dinners at the White House, and most of them looked like formal affairs of state. But this was going to be a different event. The invitation specified “Business Attire”. Hmm…so a formal gown wasn’t required. Maye a simple, classic dress would do. Nothing too embellished or fancy…I am a Pastor’s wife, after all.
So I looked, looked, and looked some more. I found several dresses in florals, with bright colors. I even called my stylish friend for advice. But my best stylist has always been Greg, with his discerning eye for what looks best on me. He actually went out shopping for me, and you know what? This girl ended up wearing a stunning, “Jackie Kennedy” style knee-length dress with cap sleeves, complete with beautiful silver and gold buttons on the side of the bodice. It was perfect. Understated. Yet very special for being chosen by none other than my husband.
Now what’s a dress without a good pair of shoes? These, I chose for myself—the highest heels I could find. I thought they would make me look taller…and thinner. Oh yes, they sure did. Five inches taller to be exact. Never mind they were unbearably hard to walk in. The price of beauty is pain, right? Right! I learned this firsthand after the long walk from Pennsylvania Avenue to the east entrance, through the security check-in, up the winding staircase, down the marble hallway, past rooms with portraits of presidents and their wives, to where we stood, yes stood, for ninety minutes, listening to the Marine Corps orchestra and sampling delicious bites of food and drink. All the time thinking to myself, Cathe why, why did you buy these shoes? Thank God for the lovely settee I found, where I could finally slip off those heels of misery.
Dinner was served in the elegant State Dining Room. Greg and I were seated in front of the fireplace, underneath the Lincoln portrait, right next to the President’s lectern.
Table 6. There it was, with my name written in beautiful script: Mrs. Laurie. A place prepared just for me.
Invited by the President to share a meal. My name. Not just Greg’s, but mine. Why would anyone turn down such an invitation?
And yet, we do.
Jesus daily invites us, “Come and dine.”
Come to the table, there is a place just for you. I have prepared a feast. I have set your place. I’ll be waiting. No need to strive for a place at the table, your seat is already reserved.
Some days we come, ready to be filled. But many days, we’re a no-show. Have you ever been stood up? Let me tell you, it’s not the best feeling in the world. Yet we do this with the Lord all the time.
Imagine standing up an invitation to dine with the Lord of the universe.
This isn’t just a dinner party—it’s an opportunity to share in deep, heart-to-heart conversation with the King of kings. Am I eager? Excited and prepared for our time together? Do I find myself counting the minutes until I finally get to sit at His feet?
I have to admit, until I was in Bible study I never had consistent, daily devotions. I couldn’t get myself up early. I couldn’t keep myself organized through the day. I am lousy at self-discipline.
Eventually, I stopped reading Bible study “help” books and short, inspirational devotionals (which was usually a sweet sermonette) for my quiet time. I made myself accountable to do a regular Bible study that required a daily dose of reading, comprehending, asking questions and allowing the Bible to question me. That’s when I began to take delight in this time with the Lord.
So, here is my challenge for you. Go to a Bible study where you can sit with a group of women who are hungry to know God’s Word. Together, you can be accountable to read, pray, think, write down and apply what you’re learning.
Don’t wait. Don’t make excuses like, “I don’t know enough” or “I already know this.” Come humbly. Come hungry. Come with Jesus. Come as you are, no fancy clothes or uncomfortable shoes allowed!
Does this sound simplistic and corny? If so, I apologize. But this is truly my Bible study method. It has been for thirty years.
I love Jesus and I so desperately need Him.
If you love and need Jesus too, but struggle to find time with Him in the Bible, let me give you a solid place to start. Come to Virtue Bible study. This year, we will study the book of Romans. It will be deep, foundational, and yes, challenging. I will admit to feeling a bit intimidated, but it’s so very essential that we understand this book!
If you live near one of our Harvest campuses, come sit with us. Come say hello, or drop me a comment here. If you don’t live nearby, you are still invited! Get a few friends and make it an evening of watching together online. You can download the lessons here at no cost, and watch the teaching video teaching each week.
Wherever you are, there’s a place for you.
So kick off your shoes, put on your favorite stretchy pants and come to the table. You’re invited to dinner with the King and his family!
P.S. For sale on eBay: Beautiful five-inch black heels, pointed with silver metal toe caps. Like new, worn only once—to the White House!