By: R.G. Huff.
“Christ will gird himself and serve us.”
This phrase from our opening hymn today brings with it a “picture this” moment of Jesus throwing on a white apron and scurrying about between tables when you’d think he should be in the place of honor — or at least sitting down with the rest of us to enjoy the meal. That mental picture brought me back to a choir tour memory from several years ago with “my kids” when I was minister of music at First Baptist in Waxahachie.
Immediately after high school graduation one June, we loaded 40-plus teenagers and chaperones onto the church’s Blue Bird school bus and headed for Florida. Somewhere in Mississippi on our first night on the road, the Blue Bird fizzled out on us for the first time, and we were stranded along the highway in the dark of night, miles from the nearest rest stop/bathroom. In our sleepy frustration, we unloaded the luggage from the church van and began shuttling the kids several miles into the next town to the first and only restaurant open for breakfast.
Inside the restaurant, there was one — count ’em — ONE waitress. Picture Flo from the ’70s sitcom. She and the two guys in the kitchen were not delighted to know that over 50 people were on their way for breakfast.
The point of this story is that our adult chaperones, including Carlita, jumped in and helped with everything that had to be done to get these kids fed. They were taking orders, pouring milk and orange juice, helping out in the kitchen — I definitely had a “get ’er done” group of chaperones that year.
When we dropped off the last group from the bus, I walked into the restaurant and found our people frantically serving while Flo took a smoke break in a corner booth!
As I recalled this event, I had a continued understanding of what it meant for Christ to jump in and serve whenever the need arose — not just at the planned banquet, but in the emergency meal. The phrase “see a need and fill it” is not from Scripture, but it certainly describes what the Servant-Savior does — and what his followers should do, even in a greasy spoon in Mississippi.
By the way, the Blue Bird faltered on us several more times on the trip. We were late to a couple of concerts, and we missed one altogether. But it was probably the most memorable of all my choir tours. Thankfully, the bus is no longer with us, and no one mourned her final home-towing.