The first course was plated. It was Sunday on Tiffany Hill, and I was ready to present to the guests. And the words from Matthew 20:28 entered my mind, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve….”
As is our custom, I entered the morning time with the guests in celebration…this morning I chose to celebrate blessings…the blessing of each of them, and the blessing of friendships and marriage…and then I moved into the kitchen to plate the main course.
I smiled, plating the food onto my 99 year old Grandmother’s china. She would be so happy to see me using it here…to serve others as she often served our family around her table at Christmas.
A gentleman about the age of 80 spoke up, telling a story of his mother’s teaching him of how it was not right to work on Sunday. I smiled, because he had no problem receiving the food I placed in front of him, without a second thought to the fact that I had been up since 4:15 that morning just to prepare myself spiritually as well as physically before coming to serve him and the 13 other guests around our table. As I brought out plate after plate and placed them in front of the guests, he said to me, “How do you deal with working on a Sunday instead of being in church? My mother taught me that was just wrong!” I smiled at him, and disappeared into the kitchen for two more plates. “Lord, please work through me in this place….today”, I murmured in my heart.
Back out at the table I shared with him a story of the Sabbath (you can find the story in Mark 3:1-6). Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, and was condemned for it. And before that he had told the Pharisees, “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” I simply told him after sharing the story….”Jesus healed and did good deeds on the Sabbath (Sunday in His day and time); why shouldn’t I follow His example? You needed breakfast this morning, didn’t you?”
I left the guests to talk, ponder, and savor both the food and the conversation. And then I reappeared with dessert – their third and final course of the morning.
There were no more questions asked. The food was taken in, and the man – at the end of the meal – simply said to me, “Thank you for serving me this morning.” I smiled. He packed his bags and left without even leaving a tip. And again I felt the nudge within me that made me smile and give thanks to the One from Whom all blessings flow.
I did receive a tip that day…a thank you that was real and from his heart, and also this that I share with you now. Indeed, the Sabbath was made for man. Why? Because God – in His infinite wisdom – knew we would need to rest and be refreshed, just as He did after His creation of all. Exodus 31:17 says, “…in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.”
So serve. No matter the day of the week, or the hour of the day. But take time “off” to rest, and to be refreshed. It’s your Sabbath. God intended you to do as He did. And serve without any expectation of anything in return. God has your reward.
There’s the tip of the day for you….savor it as you will.