Luke 14:1, 7-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Do we humbly serve others or do we seek to serve ourselves? If most of us are honest, we would probably fall somewhere between these two bookends. At times, we follow Jesus’ example and we give up our seat to an elderly person on a crowded train or at Church. At other times, we fail in the flesh and stay put while rationalizing that we found our seat first and the other person should have come sooner if they wanted to ensure themselves a seat. While none of us will ever be able to serve Perfectly like Jesus did when He walked the earth, we must always strive to serve more. What if life were like a video game where you could earn points with God for humbly serving others? And, what if the more points that we had, the deeper the Standing we would have with God? And, what if you could get bonus points for helping others to get better at the video game, too? But, isn’t that kind of like what is really happening? While none of us can ever “earn our way” into Heaven without Jesus Christ, our lives are being tracked by God – especially our progress in Him. Per Romans 14:12, “each of us will give an account of himself to God.” When we humbly serve others, God notices and so do countless others that you might not even know are watching you (including your Families and Friends). What’s the downside to putting others first? Giving to others has both Eternal and temporal Rewards, so feel free to give it all away – your time, talent, treasures, and love. It will only bring you closer to God.