Posted by Forrest Parkinson

Q 82

(fin….part 3)
Banquets Shared
Jesus said to his followers
“you have stayed close to me
through all my trials.
You will eat and drink with me
In the realm of God.”
Borg-Powelson-Riegert Reconstruction (1996)

Matthew 19:28 (NRSV)
Jesus said to them,
‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things,
when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory,
you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:28-30 (NRSV)
‘You are those who have stood by me in my trials;
and I confer on you,
just as my Father has conferred on me,
a kingdom,
so that you may eat and drink
at my table in my kingdom,
and you will sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Dear Jesus Way Friends

In 1996, not long after I was commissioned as a reservist in the Navy Chaplain Corps, a parishioner in my church asked me if I would say the invocation and luncheon grace at his Navy retirement ceremonies. I was delighted.

Shortly after Al’s* promotion to Chief Petty Officer on active duty his family circumstances changed. He finished his Navy career as a “drilling” reservist… that is, he fulfilled his annual obligation of 10 weekends and 27 consecutive active training days with his reserve unit until retirement age. Al actually served for years after he had enough points for a pension. Al was a master diesel mechanic and because he worked for a small company, his absences were always a sacrifice for his company and family. But Al loved the Navy and remained active in the reserves until his age forced him to retire. He had served in the Vietnam War and had been part of the professional core of the Navy that helped to sustain the institution through the demoralizing years of 1970s into the rebuilding years of the 1980s.

While I respected his devotion, I couldn’t imagine how his service was glamorous in any way. That is until the banquet. After the “Hail and Farewell” ceremony and crossing over into retirement, I went along to the luncheon. Friends traveled considerable distances to be present. They told stories of the bad old days, of the Navy at its very worst. They gripped about how much easier it is now with funding, better discipline, better leadership, etc. Soon, they talked about this sailor and that shipmate; “whatever happened to…” and “…did you hear ‘bout?” Some of the news was sad and muted; some of the reactions were resigned. And still there was joy; camaraderie. Smiles breathed out about who saved who’s butt, and remember that night, and look at how he turned out after all!

“So Al, pardon my saying so, Padre, how do you rate a Chaplain, for Christ sakes?” Apparently a Chaplain was something of a rarity at such occasions. “He’s my parish priest, just came on board.” I felt it a privilege to show respect for Al’s service. “It an honor to have you with us, Padre.” And my place at the banquet was just that, an honor. I was a visitor. The sailors, who sat there by right, sometimes judging and often sharing their love, shared the banquet. They stayed close through adversity and built a fellowship through their devotion.

Friends, I think Al’s banquet can teach us something about building a church and following Jesus. What do you think?


seeking Jesus’ way

*Names & details have been changed to protect the innocent… and others!

Next Week
The Temptation of Jesus
Q 6
Part 1 Into the Wilderness

Filled with Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was guided into the wilderness. Here he was put  to the test by the devil for forty days. During that time he fasted and when it was over he was very hungry. Then the devil said to him, “if you are God’s son, turn this stone into a loaf of bread.” But Jesus replied, “Scripture says ‘People cannot live on bread alone.’”
Borg-Powelson-Riegert Reconstruction (1996)

Matthew 4:1-4
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was famished.
The tempter came and said to him,
‘If you are the Son of God,
command these stones to become loaves of bread.’
But he answered,
‘It is written,
“One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’

Luke 4: 1-4
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,
where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing at all during those days,
and when they were over, he was famished.
The devil said to him,
‘If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’
Jesus answered him,
‘It is written,
“One does not live by bread alone.”