Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Sitting at the Head of the Table
I was reading from Luke 14 today about the story of the dinner guests at the banquet. The room was bustling with people and lots of tables. As it came time to eat, everyone took a seat, all knowing which table was reserved for the guests of honor (like at a wedding, where the family and wedding party sit, usually with a good view of the festivities). This one guest assumed he was a guest of honor and grabbed a seat at the head table. To his surprise, the host of the party came up and asked him to move tables because someone else at the party was supposed to sit there, someone more "honorable" than him. Talk about a humiliating walk of shame to the "low" table in front of all the other guests! The moral of the story was...never assume you are the guest of honor at a party. Pick a humble seat and let the host of the party make that call, elevating you to the guest of honor table, rather than humiliating yourself in front of everyone else, arrogantly assuming you are a "guest of honor." For some reason, that story spoke to me in a new way today. As a mom and a Christian, there are many circles I walk in where I can easily feel like I should be included at the guest of honor table. In Christian circles, especially, it's easy to start thinking, well, I'm involved in x number of Bible studies, I am mentoring x number of women, I host x number of outreach events...I am obviously a "super Christian." What I love about Jesus and the entire story of the Bible is that it is totally flipped upside down. The way of the cross is a humiliating one. It looks weak. Jesus, the Son of God, was mocked, flogged, slandered, beaten, tortured, laughed at, spit upon and cursed. THE SON OF GOD. Why? For US. He took a humble seat at the table, going to the cross, refusing to send down fire and brimstone upon all of mankind (which he totally could have done and have every right to do!) and DYING for us. So that WE could be elevated to the position of guest of honor. He took the HUMBLE seat, so we could take the position of honor. When in fact, He completley deserved to walk right up and sit at the guest of honor table. But He didn't. Because He knew this was the only way we could truly sit at the guest of honor table. He had to humble himself...to death on a cross. Thank you, Jesus, as I am reminded of my arrogance and my demands and my rights and my expectations...you remind me, through the cross, how you set all of that aside. You - in perfect form - demanded nothing and gave everything. For US. Thank you.