Are You All In?
No one likes to miss out on something they’re entitled to. One time my mom and step-dad were running late for their flight – have you ever been there? You got out the door late, you hit some traffic, and by the time you get to the terminal, you’re running, running, running. They get their tickets, get through security and get to their gate. My parents hadn’t had a chance to grab breakfast, but they figured they’d just grab some food in the terminal. Except they were flying out of Kansas City, and the terminals there are small – they weren’t set up to have room for food.
So, super stressed and hungry, the sit down in that sort of grumpy state that comes with travelling stress. My mom is a bold person – her favorite phrase growing up (other than STOP fighting with your siblings!) was “Always give them an opportunity to tell you ‘No’.” So as she and my stepdad sat there in the uncomfortable terminal chairs, stomachs growling, she decided to ask the Captain’s Club Lounge for some food.
You know those exclusive lounges most airlines maintain – you have to be an elite member or flying first class to go inside. (For the record, I’ve never been in one, so I assume it’s full of unicorn steaks and endless Dr. Pepper). My mom walked up to the attendant and asked if she could slip in and grab a couple of granola bars. The man asked to see her ticket, and when she showed him, he made a weird face and then told her to help herself to whatever she wanted.
She thanked him, grabbed those granola bars and returned to those uncomfortable seats, their stomachs at least tamed.
It wasn’t until they actually boarded the plane that that found out they had been upgraded to first class when they checked in. Whether the ticketing agent didn’t tell them or they missed it in their harried rush, they didn’t know. The whole time they were sitting in those uncomfortable terminal chairs, stomachs growling, they could have been enjoying the luxuries of the Captain’s Club Lounge.
They missed out on what they were entitled to because they didn’t know.
Friends, on this first Sunday of the New Year, I want to talk with you about what we are given as part of God’s church. Because too often, we settle for far less than the full gift of God in our lives. Today is going to be about baptism and the Holy Spirit but most of all it’s about God and God’s love for us. It’s about the reality that too often we live in Spiritual Coach when God has upgraded us all to First Class, with all the rights and privileges that go with it.