In the midst of His suffering and in the midst of my childlike behavior, He offers me a seat at the table.
I grew up in a blended family with 5 kids. However, there was a 6th child in our home. Some of you may have this child living in your home as well. He lives in mine now, with my 3 children. His name is “Not Me.” “Not Me” likes to put empty boxes back into the cabinet after taking the last granola bar. He likes to smear toothpaste all over the counter in the bathroom, take the scissors and not put them back where they belong, eat all of the chocolate chips that I was planning to use for cookies and he’s usually the last one to have the remote. For anyone who has had to endure a discussion with “Not Me,” it can be exhausting. Anyway… we’ll come back to “Not Me.”
Another thing about growing up in a family with 5 kids, our meal times were less than formal, to say the least. They were often loud and sometimes arguments erupted. Who’s turn is it to do the dishes? Someone got more mashed potatoes than someone else. Dad likes me better than you, etc… Come to think of it, it was probably “Not Me.”
I can’t help but think of my childhood when I read about Jesus’ last meal with his disciples in Luke 22:14-30. I know, that’s an odd thing to think about when you’re reading about this special moment with Jesus and his disciples. Here’s Jesus, offering the cup representing His blood, and the bread representing His body. He’s telling them that He is about to suffer and that He will not partake of this meal again until the Kingdom of God comes. But then He tells them the man who will betray Him is sharing this meal with them! Enter “Not Me.” The disciples begin to question who it could be. If that weren’t enough, an argument arises about who is the greatest among them. I can’t help but wonder if this is what we do sometimes. Do we take this offering that Jesus is holding out to us, this Lord’s Supper, and make it about us? Do we act like children at the dinner table? Is our behavior worthy of a seat at the table?
Despite all of that, despite the fact that we can never be worthy of this seat, our sweet Savior takes this moment to once again teach his disciples, and us, how to live. He is about to be arrested, beaten, mocked and then suffer an agonizing death. Yet He shows us with words and actions that He came to serve and that we should do the same. It’s not about who’s greater, it’s about how we care for others. He offers us His Kingdom. In the midst of His suffering and in the midst of my childlike behavior, He offers me a seat at the table. He tells me that He will not partake again of this meal until He gets to do it with me, with us, with our Heavenly Father, in His Kingdom! And who would want to miss out on that? Not Me! What a wonderful Savior!