Some years ago I had the privilege of conducting the wedding of two lovely young people and my wife and I were invited to the wedding banquet. This was held out in the country in a stable block that had been converted into a venue for holding large events.
We searched for our names on the seating plan and then sought out our places – how would I know which seat was mine? There, on the table, lay a stone with my name on it – I had been given a place at the table for the wedding banquet and this was proof that I had the right to be present.
The ever-living Christ, who walks among the lamps of the churches, writes to the church in Thyatira:
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:17)
Every time I read this passage I think of my stone, with my name on it. Stones were sometimes used as invitations, and white stones to indicate a verdict of acquittal. To his faithful people, the ‘overcomers,’ Christ, the bridegroom, gives a place at the table to celebrate his marriage supper. The white stone, assuring of God’s verdict of being ‘righteous,’ is my invitation because it has my new name on it.