Presume

We do not presume to come to this thy table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table. But thou are the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

[Prayer of Humble Access, various sources. To read more on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Humble_Access]

Presume: To undertake without leave or clear justification; to expect or assume especially with confidence; to suppose to be true without proof; to take for granted. [merriam-webster.com]

The table which feeds us spiritually isn’t our personal property, and we have no claim on its bounty. Just as it would be wrong to assume a place at our neighbor’s table for dinner, it’s presumptuous of us to assume a space at God’s: neither God nor neighbor owe us automatic hospitality. It’s important to admit that we need an invitation.

At the same time, it’s critical to remember that we do have an invitation, that Jesus asked us to take our place at his table. There is a place at the table for each one of us – not because of our own claim on it, but because God claims us as welcome guests. If we remember that we are guests at the table and not hosts, we won’t take the bounty of the table for granted.

2 thoughts on “Presume

  1. How wrong-headed of me to think I deserve a gift. I do know this, however, that when I re-gift God’s mercy and love it grows into “the gift that keeps on giving”. Amen.

    1. So true, Bill. Everyone and no one deserves the gift – depending on whether we realize it’s a gift, or we think it’s something that can be earned. I love this kind of re-gifting! Peace, Johnna

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