Jesus told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor… (Luke 14:7-8)
Nolan Ryan, an outstanding baseball player, let his talent speak for itself. Rickey Henderson, also outstanding, didn’t. On May 1, 1991, Henderson stole his 939th base to pass Lou Brock and become baseball’s number one all-time stolen base leader. Rickey stopped the game, tore third base from the ground and held it over his head like a trophy before the cheering crowd. This was his day! After the game, standing beside his friend, his mentor, and the man who used to hold the record, Lou Brock, Rickey announced, “Lou Brock was the best base-stealer in his time. But today, I’m the greatest of all time.”
Unfortunately (for Rickey), on that same day, 44-year old Nolan Ryan threw his 7th no-hitter, the oldest pitcher to throw a no-hitter, and three more than second place, Sandy Koufax. After the game, Nolan Ryan quietly showered and went home.
The next morning, Rickey made the front page of the sports section, but below the fold. Because above the fold, the large headline read, “Nolan Ryan Steals the Thunder.”
“…do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:8-11).
Almighty God, You alone are awesome. I throw that word around, “awesome,” but it truly belongs to You. You are King of kings, Lord of lords. To You belongs all wonder and majesty. The sin of Satan was an attempt to take Your glory for himself.
What is amazing is that I do not need to steal Your glory. I am made in Your image, and because of the work of Your Son, I am heir to your riches. I have no merit of my own, but through Your grace, I am a child of God. Wow! Thank You for welcoming me. More than that, for celebrating my salvation. I didn’t expect it or deserve it, but I enjoy it. What a wonderful salvation. What a wonderful Savior.