It’s a well-known fact that many in the service industry hate working the Sunday shift, especially those who work in restaurants, but I’ve even heard Wal-Mart greeters say they hate the Sunday shift. Why? Because it’s when all the Christians show up after church and treat them like dirt. In the restaurant business it is an accepted “fact” that it’s the Christians who are poor tippers. I can’t verify the truth of a statement like that, but I would imagine there is some truth to the statement.
We’ve seen examples posted all over the internet people leaving notes on food bills that say, “I give God 10% so why do you get 18%?” or well-intentioned Christians who leave tracts that look like money instead of a tip, or notes that condemn assumed behaviour. Granted some of these have been proven to be hoaxes but many of them are true. It begs me to ask the question, what is it in fact that we DO with our Christian witness?
I hope my friend if he ever reads this, doesn’t mind I used a recent discussion on his Facebook page as an example. He had posted the latest article highlighting Phil Robertson’s controversial comments on his page. He basically said that Phil Robertson, doesn’t speak for him or for a lot of Christians; and of course there was some mild push back on the opinion that he shared. In his responding comments he drew a contrast between someone like Phil Robertson and Ellen DeGeneres. Phil who seems to be using his fame to cut down or bring shame to certain segments of society or even spread hate with comments like “convert them or kill them”. Ellen DeGeneres, seems to use her fame to help, and to build up the community.
I remembered that discussion this week as I read the passage for this week from Matthew 21:23-32. I wonder if sometimes a lot of Christians aren’t like the son, who tells the father that he will go and work in the vineyard but never winds up going to do the work. Maybe sometimes it’s the case that like the religious elite of Jesus day, if we’re not careful we can tend to show up to our church buildings from week to week and involve ourselves in ritual…but then never really become involved in the work of the kingdom.
At the same time there may be those who appear to have said no, but go about the work anyway.
We might be surprised at just who inherits the kingdom of God.
So my thoughts start there this week, I have no idea how I will share my thoughts with the congregation this week.