The Empty Banquet,
a dream on Friday 15/1/99
In the first scene I was with a craftsman who working outside with spruce trees which were just bigger than a man, the same as Christmas trees. The man was an extrovert, he wore a black satin cape and was dressed all in black apart from his red cravat. He stripped a tree down until it was just a smooth pole. He made them because people wanted them. He left some knots showing, just for show… it didn’t mean that they were of good quality but he said that is what the people want, for them to look good. He worked quickly and was soon finished, he led me past a stack of poles or trees where he propped up the latest one and we went round the side of a large house set in its own grounds.
So we moved to the second scene.
In the back garden, which sloped down away from the house, was a banquet set out on a table. There was lots of food of many types and colours, there was no one else there. He eagerly started taking food from the table, he reached and grabbed from here and there, encouraging me to eat. I began but in a subdued manner. I think I realised he was being greedy or impolite, and also there should be others who would come and they should have their share. I felt the look of the owner who had provided the banquet and possibly someone else, may be his wife, may be not. They were standing outside, by the back of the house overlooking the garden. I felt the owner‘s disappointment, not that we were eating but about something else.
I woke thinking “was it just a dream, just pictures in my mind?”. Was there a message about being greedy, or not waiting for others, or not bringing others to the table? Was the first scene about the shallowness of the world’s desires, have we stripped away the mystery and complexity of the Christmas story to turn Christmas, or even the whole Christian story, into something that we find useful and cosmetically satisfying?
Then in the Sunday service was the mention of 1 Corinthians 11. Teaching us about how not to treat the Lord’s supper as a feast leaving some go hungry, but to treat it with respect, waiting for the others to come. Also was the teaching to encourage others of the body, and to participate in the activity of the body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12..
Is this an encouragement then to bring others to the banquet?