Across America a lot of workers had yesterday off in honor of Veteran’s Day. I normally have Monday’s off anyway so doing chores around town was not anything special. It took a while for it to register that the parking lots were full and the lines long because of the holiday. During one wait at a nationally-known store, I overheard a sales associates with her customer. He was an older gentleman and she was talking about some local restaurants: “Get yourself a free lunch,” I heard her say. “You don’t have to be a veteran. Just tell them you’re one. They won’t check.”

Of course, I butted into their private conversation. “That’s not nice,” I said. (I wanted to say something about honesty and integrity, but I didn’t.) 

As a recipient of a free lunch to Vets (U.S. Army, Vietnam, 1970-72), I can testify that unless one is accustomed to telling a string of whoppers while eating, it isn’t worth it. Real veterans can expose a fake in less than a minute. Posers may choke on a french fry or suddenly lose their appetite when the man you just met verbally lets loose with what he thinks of phonies.

What’s the attraction about a free lunch anyway? Eating next to a Vet who witnessed their buddy die or who carries scars for life, when you can only pretend, would–to say the least–be uncomfortable. Wannabes may sit at the table, but they don’t belong there. (Let that sink in for a moment.)

The more I dig into prophecy, the clearer it becomes; many–if not most–Christians look at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb like a free lunch. Has it ever dawned on us how a place at this table of honor might be earned?

What if the joyful woman seated to our right lost a husband and two children when radical Hindus attacked one night? What if the man opposite lost a chunk of his skull when struck by a machete? The reason: He refused to deny Christ. What if the humble person on our left was an evangelist who endured unimaginable tortures and years of prison for his faith? What if everyone had similar accounts; then it was our turn? Do you see what I mean?

“Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.” Blessed are the veterans and soldiers invited for a free lunch. There is still time to volunteer for the battle. When the Feast Day comes, we will all be glad for our stories. It will be how we know we belong.

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