Janet and I are pretty much home bodies. We don’t tend to go out exploring and trying a bunch of new places. We’re like the people who used to go to the “Cheers” bar in Boston. We really appreciate going to places where everybody knows our name. It’s friendly and comfortable and easy and the servers know what we like to order. And when we get to our booth, our soft drinks are already on the table for us.
When you’ve had a tough day, or a tough week for that matter, the whole world gets a little easier to take when you can hang around people who really care for you and in a way, go through life with you. Years ago, when the kids were younger, we had a standing reservation for dinner each week. Any or all of our children could join us for dinner as long as we knew in advance so we could make the appropriate reservation. It was a way for our family to review the events of the week and there were no strings attached. Many times, after dinner, our kids would leave to go on dates or football games or some other event that they on their calendars. Janet and I would sit and talk and just unwind at the end of each week.
Throughout a period of months, and then years, it got to the point where we didn’t even order off the menu. The servers and the chefs in the kitchen had carte blanche to prepare whatever they thought they would like to prepare for us – and we rarely even saw a menu. And since those days, there have two other restaurants we have come to appreciate to the same degree. While the food is terrific at all these places, the bottom line is that it is about the relationships we have developed – not the food.
In fact, Janet and I usually get Christmas cards from a number of the servers we know at one of the places we dine. It’s kind of nice to have those close relationships with people in different walks of life. Not only does this happen at various area eating establishments, we have quite a few friends at all kinds of retail establishments.
I think my first exposure to this kind of lifestyle was from my Mom’s parents. They always frequented the same places and Janet’s folks were much the same way. I guess it was just a natural progression to become friendly with those folks who interacted with us throughout the years. And it’s amazing how many of these people believe in God. In fact, it’s overwhelming…
Which means that they have the same kind of commitment to love one another well. Our verse for the evening comes from John’s first eipstle which, by the way, is the first book that you learn to translate from the Greek. The theology is easy to understand and the book is written in such a way that it is easy to understand. We are told, in 1 John 4:7, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to reach out and help one another – even love one another well. That includes serving each other in our normal daily lives. My prayer is that you will be richly rewarded, both now and in the future, when you take the time to meet, learn about and eventually know those folks around you who provide services so necessary to your daily life – whether it be the cleaners, hostesses and servers, or even doctors and others who assist us with health issues. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…