In my past, I have organized and decorated for many dinners to honor and please guests who arrive and partake of food and drink along with stories and laughs together around the table. As taught by the generations before me, it all begins with a beautiful centerpiece that attracts the eyes of guests without being too big or too small. The centerpiece of the table promotes friendly eating with enjoyable conversations. A great centerpiece reflects who we are in a way and is the focal point for everyone who comes to sit at the table.
For example, an elaborate, ornate centerpiece may reflect stuffiness and pride, trying to hard to show the appearance of being rich and powerful. On the other hand, a simple, yet beautifully profound centerpiece that isn’t showy portrays an openness that leads people to the table with a sigh of relief knowing they do not have to be formal, have rank or power, or prove their worth to be accepted. Simplicity can be a beginning point for discussion with people you don’t know well but would like to know and love.
Yes, it’s all about The Centerpiece.
Hebrews 3, The Message
The Centerpiece of All We Believe
3 1-6 So, my dear Christian friends, companions in following this call to the heights, take a good hard look at Jesus. He’s the centerpiece of everything we believe, faithful in everything God gave him to do. Moses was also faithful, but Jesus gets far more honor. A builder is more valuable than a building any day. Every house has a builder, but the Builder behind them all is God. Moses did a good job in God’s house, but it was all servant work, getting things ready for what was to come. Christ as Son is in charge of the house.
6-11 Now, if we can only keep a firm grip on this bold confidence, we’re the house! That’s why the Holy Spirit says,
Today, please listen;
don’t turn a deaf ear as in “the bitter uprising,”
that time of wilderness testing!
Even though they watched me at work for forty years,
your ancestors refused to let me do it my way;
over and over they tried my patience.
And I was provoked, oh, so provoked!
I said, “They’ll never keep their minds on God;
they refuse to walk down my road.”
Exasperated, I vowed,
“They’ll never get where they’re going,
never be able to sit down and rest.”
12-14 So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as God’s still calling it Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.
These words keep ringing in our ears:
Today, please listen;
don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.
15-19 For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.
THINK ABOUT IT—
What if Jesus truly is the Centerpiece of all we believe, think about, talk about and serve?
What if Jesus was our first thought in the morning and our last conversation before going to bed?
If Jesus is the Centerpiece, the simplicity of unconditional love, merciful forgiveness with undeserved grace; is He firmly placed at the center of our thinking and behaving? And wouldn’t more people want to come and sit at His Table if HE were the Centerpiece of our lives?
People are attracted to perfect and simple love. People are attracted to Jesus. May Jesus be at the Center of all we are.
You have caused me to evaluate my thoughts and behaviors again today. You are at the Center of all that is Life forever. You are the Center of our salvation, the One and Only who offered freedom from our own sins. You are Jesus, in charge of our being, the Temple in which you now reside. You are at the Center of my thinking today. I want what you want for your will is best for me.
May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, in every detail called Today, as it is in heaven. Give us this day all you know we need for that will be quite enough. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptations, but instead, deliver us from evil and evil’s tireless schemes to draw us away from our Center.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen