Heb 12:5-7, 11-13
Where will I Sit?
I grew up in a large family. I was the sixth of seven children. There was an expectation in our family that when dinner was served, we were to get to our places right away. (Yes we each had a place, depending on the quality of our behavior we either sat close to Mom or close to Dad, I was closer to Mom.)
The incentive for being able to have dessert was eating all of the food on our plate…everything. Although I did have an eclectic taste, there were some things I would put into my paper napkin. It was my hope that neither my mother nor father would see the covert operation. For me the goal of a successful dinner was making it to the dessert. I was not focused on the different food groups that would make me a healthy little girl; I was focused on the prize.
Somehow despite my particular focus, I grew to appreciate all of the food groups. As an adult there are nights when all I really want is the dessert-the prize, but in general I want vegetables, a protein, and starch. I wonder as I think back how many times my mother saw my covert operations? Did she ever wonder, “Will this little one ever get to a place in her life when she’ll see the importance of the whole meal?”
In the gospel reading for the Sunday of August 26th, the people listening to Jesus ask, “Who will be saved?
He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Later in the reading he says: And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
His words are unsettling to me. I can’t help but wonder, can I get through the narrow gate? Where will I be sitting at the table?