By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
"Confusion, Laughter, and Salvation: The Day Jesus Sat at Our Table"
"Guess who showed up at our table? Jesus himself!" I couldn't help but drop my head as my college basketball buddies tried to convince the perplexed waitress that the Messiah had decided to join us. And, of course, they all turned their heads toward me when they made this outrageous claim.
You see, back in high school, I stumbled upon a book called In His Steps, and it had a huge impact on me. The characters in the story kept asking themselves, "What would Jesus do?" It completely flipped their lives upside down. So, during those endless bus rides to basketball games, my college pals and I would get into these deep discussions. Every now and then, I'd throw in that same question, like, "Hey, guys, how do you think Jesus would handle this situation?" Little did I know, this would lead to me being lovingly dubbed "Jesus."
At first, I was annoyed. I wanted my friends to take Jesus seriously, not turn my faith into a running joke. But over time, I started to see that their playful teasing was just their way of dealing with their own insecurities. They used humor to hide the weightiness of faith.
So our bewildered waitress walked away from the table, wondering why my teammates had crowned me with the name "Jesus." Can you believe it? All of us on the basketball team were studying for the ministry, and the last thing we should have wanted was for her to be confused about who Jesus truly was.
One of our college professors took it upon himself to print up a little brochure. On the front, he put a picture of our basketball team, and inside, he explained the good news in a simple and straightforward way. Before we left the restaurant that day, I quickly scribbled a note for the waitress, letting her know that I wanted her to know who Jesus really is.
When Pastor Joe preached on Acts 5:12-42. He talked about how God supernaturally fills His people with overflowing joy, even in the midst of suffering for the sake of the gospel. Now, I won't claim that my light teasing on a Christian basketball team was exactly "suffering for the cause," but I can tell you this: I experienced immense joy when we received a letter from that waitress, telling us that the brochure had led her to embrace Christ.
I don't know what kind of challenges you're facing at work or in your family as you stand up for the gospel. But my heartfelt prayer for you is this: May you find genuine joy in the midst of it all, because God might be using you in ways you never could have imagined.