“He Set Aside Every Dish!” (Matthew 24:44)

For several years, my wife and I have enjoyed the fellowship of two other couples dining at restaurants throughout Southern California. Ethiopian vegetarian restaurants, Italian pasta, sushi bars-for burgeoning foodies like my wife and myself, we were ecstatic to do this with some of our closest friends! As a bonus, occasionally, we were even able to meet the chef and treated to a group photo. Every dinner was special but this latest dinner was different.


As we were finishing our latest gastronomic excursion, one of my friend’s wives waved at a woman passing by our table. They were soon engaged in a lively conversation and the rest of us discovered that it was the co-owner of the restaurant and the wife of the chef. Ebullient and bubbly, she was eager to find out what we thought of our dishes. We were delighted to share our unanimously favorable opinions and she returned our compliments with a history of the restaurant and how she and her husband met. This conversation soon evolved into an intimate sharing as she sat down with us and asked the server to bring some complimentary drinks. One of my friends who selected this restaurant knew that it was highly favored by a very famous food critic, who recently passed away. During a pause in our laughter, he turned to her and gently asked, “How did the two of you feel about his recent passing?”


Her jovial mood melted into a pensive expression and a somber voice now replaced her gaiety. “We owe everything to him!” Tears welled up in her eyes as she continued. “His reviews put us on the map. We loved him!” She kept looking back toward the kitchen where her husband was cooking, her eyes lovingly embracing him. “Every night, he would set aside one serving of every dish for him, just in case he showed up.”


We were in awe of this revelation. She nodded and looked at each of us as she seemingly paused to allow us to absorb the gravity of her statement. “We attended his funeral. It was so beautiful. Even after he passed away, my husband still sets aside every dish.” She wistfully sighed, “And he will always do this in honor of what he did for us!”


It was a poignant and beautiful remembrance of this food critic as the chef continued to show his gratitude to him, living in a continual state of preparedness for the unexpected return of someone he loved and respected. This is the same message that Jesus told all believers.


Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:44 (ESV)


Like awaiting the return of the famous food critic, all believers in Jesus Christ should live their lives in eager anticipation and expectation of His return to earth. We do this out of gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice He made for us, living and dying on the Cross and resurrected to the glory of God. We are to focus our time and energy to advancing the Kingdom of God on this earth by living our lives in continual readiness for the return of our Lord and Savior, by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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