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What Sunday Sermon?

May 14, 2014

A year or so ago, I read how Sunday was the worst day for wait staff to work. They said the crowd is the rudest of the week and the cheapest when tipping. I asked a friend who works in that field and she agreed. She would rather work the Friday and Saturday night club crowds. She said they are typically kind and generous – and that is before they head out to the clubs. So, I started paying attention to the Sunday eatery crowd.

I hate to admit, I have seen people in their Sunday best act less than their Sunday best to wait staff. They seem to be the complainers on Sunday morning. Waitress is too slow. The food is too slow. The restaurant is noisy. Complaint after complaint. While I did not get to see how they tipped, I can only imagine.

Yet two weeks ago we went to a local eatery after church. It was a very busy day and the place was swamped. A gentleman came up to the table to take our drink order. As he left the table we asked our lunch companion if he was the owner. She said he was not. Just a local gentleman who took it upon himself to help the wait staff by serving beverages and busing tables while his food sat and got cold. I am not sure if he is a church goer or not, but I am not sure that really matters.

Here is the question I pose to you? Who was acting more like Jesus? Was it the known church people with all their whining and cheap tips, or was it the man who got up from his table to become a servant. I hope you think I am asking that rhetorically, because I am.

The second man got up from his table and served. He left his position on privilege, and eating at a restaurant is an act of privilege, to humble himself as a servant. This act was not one someone asked him to do, but was a conscious act on his part. What if the judgmental church people would have taken that turn? What impact would it have made if they even just said something nice to the wait staff? What if they humbled themselves and considered how the overworked, underpaid waiter or waitress must feel. How interesting would that be? It would be so novel, church goers acting like Jesus instead of plain religious people.

This post-church Sunday behavior impacts our ability to honestly share the Gospel. If our behaviors don’t match our actions, why should we expect anyone to believe what we say about Jesus who we claim to love so much? I am thinking what they must be thinking, “If you really love Jesus so much why don’t you try acting like him.”

My challenge to you is before you go out to eat, prepare your heart. Instead of praying a public prayer over your food when you get there, pray before you leave home. Pray that you may be Jesus to the people at the restaurant. Not just to the restaurant staff, but also to those who will witness your behavior – or misbehavior.

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