I’m going to a wedding reception tonight. (Yes, I am going to the wedding as well, so don’t start on me about that.) I don’t know what you think about when you are invited to a wedding reception, but I am wondering where we will be seated. The pattern most wedding reception planners follow is that numbers are assigned to tables and then the guests are assigned to a table number. And then the fun really begins, when you find out who shares your table number.
I still hold out some hope for Table 1, but since I only know the bride through my wife, and since I don’t know the groom at all, I am guessing my hope is misplaced. I won’t get served first. Maybe we’ll be near the front, right in the line of sight with the wedding party, and then everyone will know I am there. People will think that I am someone important, being seated so near the front. I can hope. But, being realistic, I guess the most I can really hope for is that I don’t get served last. I suppose I could try to move up a few tables, going around telling people that I have to get home early, asking them to trade places with me. Maybe I could buy my way to the front.
In reality, of course, I don’t want to sit in the front. And I certainly don’t want to be seated right next to the dance floor. The expectations are simply too high that I am going to do the Chicken Dance. I can never get it right, and I look like someone having uncontrolled muscle spasms, so better that I have that table in the far corner.
I don’t know where I am sitting tonight, and that really doesn’t matter. What I do know is that I will be seated at a table with the woman I love and with good friends. I know this because my wife and her friend told me we would be seated together. I don’t know how women know things like this in advance, but I am glad they shared the secret of the seating chart with me. You see, it’s not so much a question of where you are seated at the banquet that matters, it’s a question of who you are seated with. That’s why the seating chart planners spend so much time on it. They want everyone to have a good time around the tables, whatever the number.
That’s what it is like in the Kingdom of Jesus. Don’t fight to get the best seat. Take joy in that you are invited, friends. Know that Jesus has been planning the Banquet seating for a long time, and the people you will be dining with at the Table will be the perfect tablemates. People you love. People with whom you can share a memory, a laugh, a hug. People you want to be with for an eternity. I am not going to miss that party. You’ll be there, right? Jesus is saving a seat for us.