When our oldest daughter was in out of town at law school, her exam schedule did not afford her the luxury of a trip home for Thanksgiving. When our son was deployed to Iraq, his setting sat unused.
There is something important to me to put those dishes on the table, even though I know they will not be used. They are the promise of another holiday to come when that person will rest their feet under my table and share the special day with us.
There is someone else preparing a place that has yet to be used. The Lord Jesus told us, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also," (John 14:1-3).
He is waiting for us to take our seat at His table and eat bread at the table of the king forever. What a glorious thought that we are on His mind and He is preparing a place for us in this very moment.
"Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually." (2 Samuel 9:6,7)