This past week I had a conversation with a friend about the Christian witness in restaurants after church. As a former waiter I have seen firsthand the influx of business on Sundays as men and women dressed in their Sunday best all descend on restaurants around the noon hour. For the restaurant it’s big business; for the waiter it is often the worst day of the week. Why? From my experience and conversations with other waiters and waitresses, I have found that we as Christians are the worst customers on Sundays. The reputation of the church is that we are chincy tippers, demanding of servers, and rude. Don’t believe me, Google “Church Tippers on Sunday”.
I have spent some time thinking and wondering why we as Christians act this way. Is it because we have sat for hours listening to sermons and are ready to get home to our recliners? Is it because we have given so generously in the offering plate that we can’t tip on the food plate?
Perhaps God has equipped us to be his instrument of wrath upon these workers who should be in church on Sunday mornings. (I can’t even stomach the last one.) Sadly these are all excuses I have come upon from Christians trying to justify their place.
Ultimately I think it’s because we somehow think that we are better than the rest of the world. I wonder if we think that because we are Christians we somehow become superior people.
The truth is, of all people in this world, we as Christians should have one thing figured out. We as Christians should know that we are the lowest of the low. We are the scum of the earth; we are sinners destined for hell.
Our only value is that we have been redeemed by Christ. We are what we are not because of the clothes we wear, the money we tithe, or the positions we hold, but instead we are what we are because of Christ.
This week in church we are studying the restoration of Peter. Peter is much like us in that he was a man who believed that he had things together. He even told Jesus on numerous occasions of his unyielding loyalty. I believe the turning point of Peter’s life was the evening when he denied Jesus three times. At the moment he finally denied Christ, Peter saw himself for who he was, a broken humiliated man.
After Jesus’ resurrection He approaches Peter. He comes with one purpose, to take a man humiliated and broken and show him where his life is found. He says Peter do you LOVEme? Peter responds yes I love you. Jesus asks again, Peter do you LOVE me? Peter responds, yes I love you. At this moment Jesus understanding that Peter does not feel he can love Jesus in the way that Jesus asks responds, Peter do you love me? To which peter responds, yes I love you.
Jesus approached Peter where he was, a broken and humiliated man.
The story of the Bible is not about men and women who have things figured out. It is not the story of kings and of wise men. The Bible is a story of broken and humiliated men coming to the understanding that God loves them and forgives them.
Tonight, go out and eat. At your table, pray for your server knowing that they are just like you — broken and in need of a savior. When you meal is over, tip them 20% for our greatest purpose is to bring men to Jesus who has pulled us up out of the ashes.