Waiting in line = a spiritual discipline

Some time ago Raul, a fellow minister at Arlington heights UMC, shared with me a bit from a sermon he heard in which the preacher was sharing the story of Jesus being baptized.

Most of the sermons and thoughts on this story I have heard focus on the act of baptism, or justify their church's position on the way to baptize (dunking, sprinkling, or pouring). This preacher had a different take, one that will stick with me for the rest of my life. It is my hope my articulation of his thesis is respectable, because I am hearing it second hand.

Jesus stood in line in order to be baptized. He joined all the others that day and waited his turn to be baptized by John in the River Jordan. Jesus could have used his family influence, John being his cousin, and moved to the front. Jesus could have said, "excuse me, I am Jesus and I would like to have a special service for my baptism." No, he stood in line.

Poor people stand in lines.

Those with resources can and do our very best to circumvent as many lines as possible. From the DMV where we can renew our drivers license online to pagers at theme parks which upon buzzing send allow us to walk by scores of people and take our choice seat on popular roller coasters.

If you want to know how rich you are, count how many lines you stand in. The fewer the richer.

Perhaps the next time you have the option of calling a reservation in or waiting for the next available table, we might choose to take some time and stand in line.

For when we stand in line, we stand with all people who stand in line for food, water and visitation rights.

Who knows, the next time we stand in line we might be standing next to Jesus.