Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. Luke 12:37 (NRSV)
I have helped serve at the Banquet in Sioux Falls over a dozen times. I have always enjoyed the experience. But I have to admit that at first it caused a little discomfort for me. Here I was, a white middle class male, waiting on those who were poor, homeless, the outcast of society. I have enjoyed my privilege status in our society and have always enjoyed being waited on. I especially enjoy having good wait staff at a restaurant. My mind told me that the people who frequent the Banquet should be waiting on me, but there I was serving them coffee. Very strange. I mention this, because as we read the above passage, Jesus pulls off a switch. We expect the slaves, who are waiting for the master to return, to wait on the master. But Jesus tells us that the master has the slaves sit down to eat and the master waits on the slaves. So what is the point Jesus is trying to make? Simply that we are the slaves and Jesus will wait on us in God’s kingdom. This is a picture of heaven where Jesus will wait on all the faithful. But we are given glimpses of God’s kingdom here on earth. Whenever we celebrate Holy Communion Jesus is the host who waits on us, giving to us the bread of life. It is easy for the church to emphasize that Christians are called upon to serve Jesus. It is part of our calling and so I volunteer to pour coffee at the Banquet. But it should also fill us with joy to know that there are times when Jesus tells us your work is done, have a seat and let me wait on you.