Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Seating Arrangements

One of the amazing things about the parables of Jesus is that they still hit the nail on the head! This is from February 21, 2012.
This week, my eighth graders have been discussing Jesus' Parable of the Chief Seats from Luke 14. In it, Jesus sees some guys scrambling for the prominent seats at a dinner. The Savior admonishes them to take the least desirable place to sit. He makes the practical application that if they take the prime spot, there's a chance they will be forced to move to a lesser location. Conversely, He told them if they take the least honorable chair, they might be told to move to a better seat. Jesus ends this part of the lesson with the words, For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

I try to make the Scriptures applicable to their lives so I asked if there was tension regarding who sits where when they go to the movies as a group. Predictably, they agreed and that it usually has to do with opposing genders. They also admitted there is drama concerning who sits where at the lunch table in the cafeteria. Middle school- what a soap opera! As we talked, I interjected social settings such as weddings and funerals. We decided that if you go to a wedding and stroll down and plop yourself on the front couple of rows, you will be quickly asked to relocate if you are not a member of the immediate family. One of the kids brought up the report that Bobby Brown was asked to move several times at the funeral of his ex-wife, Whitney Houston, and that became a story in itself. 

What amazes me about these parable taught two thousand years ago is their timelessness. We still struggle with humility and arrogance. We still want to be noticed as the one with the best seats. (Apparently, this teaching doesn't apply to seats on the bench as I just read an article about two NBA players complaining about they are sitting too much during games.) I've noticed this truism when it comes to the human race; humble folks are always liked, arrogant folks usually are not...and most of us struggle with at least temporary arrogance. Sometimes I hear, often in the news, that people are demanding their seat at the table. Maybe we should be careful what we ask for. Jesus said it reveals quite a bit about who we are.

Applicable quote of the day:
''Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.''
Saint Augustine

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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