Table Etiquette, Jesus Style (Pt. 1)

We hadn’t eaten breakfast this morning.

Our church service was rescheduled… just for today.  Moved almost two hours earlier to accommodate a special event at our sister church.

I guess I was “hungrier” than I realized.  It’s amazing how much better today’s “food for thought” tasted on an empty stomach.

“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited… Take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’

Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  (Luke 14:8,10-11)

A long-ago memory was stirred.  Back in the days when we were running as fast as we could to keep up with You, Lord.

You were miraculously raising Samaritan’s Touch Care Center out of nothing.  A Christian medical center providing free primary and specialized medical care to the uninsured, working poor.

We had applied for our 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS.  So donations to this community-based charitable mission would be tax-deductible.  The average turnaround time for such approvals was ordinarily about six weeks.

So why was ours taking almost nine months, Lord?

We knew why.  This was to be Your place, Lord. A place where Healing and Hope would be offered in Your name.  The Name above every name.

“… at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  (Philippians 2:10-11)

So we knew Your enemies would do anything they could to slow us down or stop us altogether.  But, thankfully, Your plans are never thwarted!

At Your familiar heart prompting, I contacted our U.S. Senator to see if he could help unblock the IRS bottleneck.  He intervened on our behalf.

We still didn’t have our approval, but I wanted to thank him for helping us.  So I contacted his chief of staff.  He was due to speak at a Chamber meeting a few hundred miles away.  I was invited… so I went.

I hadn’t met the Senator before.  Nor was I a member of the organization to which he was speaking.  I was only there because his chief of staff said she would make sure I got “a moment” to thank him sometime before he left.

I went in to sit down.  I picked the table farthest from the speaker’s platform.  I sat in the corner.  A few minutes later, the Senator arrived and took his place at the front.

His chief of staff came to the back corner…and said the words to me I never expected to hear!!!  But what does that have to do with the words You have for me today, Lord?

Maybe if I “sleep on it”… ???  Until tomorrow… ???

Abba’s Girl

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