Hunkered Down Devotion

Luke 13:30 (Voice)
That’s how it will be; some are last now who will be first then, and some are first now who will be last then.

The church camp I grew up going to every summer was called Summer’s Best Two Week and was a combination of a sports camp and a Bible camp.  Some of my favorite memories from growing up come from the time spent there each summer.  After I aged out of my time as a camper, I spent every summer I could on staff at the camp, first on the work crew, then as a jr. counselor, then eventually as a sr. counselor, all the way through my college years.

One of the things that remained consistent through all of the years of the camp was the line up to be let into lunch.  As kids are want to do, there was usually a mad rush to get to the front of the line, because the first people in line are the first people to the lunch table, and the first people to the lunch table are the first people to eat, and it’s been almost 4 hours since breakfast.  

Every day a counselor or two would be assigned to let the campers into the building and into the lunchroom, usually asking a silly question or something fun.  But one day each year something special happened.  A counselor would pull out his or her Bible, read this verse from the gospel of Luke and have the line enter for lunch from the back to the front.  

The counselors always made clear that they were definitely trying to teach us a lesson about the nature of God, but I really thought – especially once I became a counselor – that the whole thing was mostly about having some fun with a bunch of hungry 6th graders.  At the same time, the lesson and the scripture verse as stuck with me all these years later.

Thankfully, I believe I have finally gleaned slightly more meaning from it now than I did back then.  That simple image of the lunch line moving in reverse reminds me that Jesus did in fact come to upend the order of this world, and to lift up those that have found themselves on the bottom.  

The people – just like the boys (it was always the boys!) that pushed and shoved, trying to be first in line, could do nothing but stand and stare in envy as those that were at the back of the line calmly and coolly walked passed them through the doors and it reminds me that that is how it will  be for all of those that spend all of there time and energies trying to lift themselves up instead of lifting others.  

Sharing God’s Love,

Prayer:  Lord, help us to put you first, and seek to lift up those that have been left behind and trampled down, lifting them up with your love.  Amen.

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