Chuck E Cheese’s. Does life get any better? Not if you are three. It is Heaven on Earth. Number one party place for any toddler. Chuck E Cheese will make you queen for a day...pizza, games, entertainment, cake, and all your friends. It is as fine a banquet as any three year old could ever dream...and all about me...three year olds LOVE all about me.
On the other side of the seemingly more significant tracks, there is a woman bringing her doctorate to completion. Less than 0.5% of adults in the world have a doctorate degree. In fact, if the world were 200 people, only 1 would have a doctorate degree. Elite. Exceptional. The kind of thing that makes people turn their nose up. The kind of thing that makes people say things like, “That is Dr. to you.” The kind of thing that makes people prideful, egotistical, and arrogant towards their fellow man.
Here is the cool thing...the hand of God is writing these two stories simultaneously. We’ll come back. But right now, rewind 2,000 years...
Luke 14...Jesus enters the house of one of the educated, one of the arrogant, one of the elite Pharisees. They invited Jesus with the intention of “checking Him out.” The problem is, when it is time to eat, they forget about Him and get caught up in where they are going to sit at the table. It’s all about status. That’s what they are good at...making people recognize their eliteness. It’s a friendly, yet highly competitive Pharisaical game of “Who can look down their nose the farthest.” They love that game.
So while they jockey for position at the table, each of them trying to get closest to the head, the King of the World stands in the doorway...just watching. Nobody says to the greatest man that ever lived, “Please come sit here.” No one says, “The miracle worker should be seated first chair.” Instead, Jesus the lamb, watches and waits, as every seat gets filled except the last. And then, just like a teacher waiting for the class to calm themselves, begins to speak in a parable that mirrors the events that just transpired.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted...When you give a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors...But invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Ouch. Home just got hit. HARD. We live in that world. Power. Prestige. Prominence. Position. Everyone is trying to be somebody and go somewhere. Everyone is busy seeking success or celebrating success. We go from, “I got to get to that chair!” to “I have arrived at the chair!” to “I got to get to that chair!” again. While the King of the World is standing in the doorway watching...likely, shaking His head...waiting for His moment.
Back to present day, the Dr., the elite, the accomplished, the 1 in 200...the one who has achieved prestige and prominence and position. At a time when she could be looking down her nose, celebrating herself, consumed by her own pride and self-centeredness, she is making herself aware of others. One of those little three year olds who can only dream of Chuck E Cheese parties, had a Chuck E Cheese party. A real-life, all the pizza, cake, games, entertainment, and even friends Chuck E Cheese party. Why? Because the Dr. provided it, when the girl’s family could not. The elite threw a party for the one who could not repay. That three year old girl got to be the queen that day. And it was the greatest party that Chuck E Cheese has ever seen...because the King of the World was not in the doorway, but at the table.
I have to believe, that day, the pizza and cake tasted better than ever before. I have to believe, at that party, the games were more fun than ever before. And I have to believe, through that moment, the Spirit of God touched the heart of someone that it had never touched before. All because the elite chose not to turn her nose up, but to turn her eyes to the King of the World.