A lot of people get hung up on titles. I’ve known a lot of clergy types over the years who were like that. If you didn’t call them Reverend, Father, Pastor, Monsignor, or Bishop, they would get all bent out of shape. I suppose it’s a respect thing. Unfortunately, demanding respect is a lot different than earning it. Frankly, once they hang that title in front of your name, that’s when the real earning begins.
When I was ordained, someone asked me what they should call me now that the deed was done. We were with a small group of people at the time, and I couldn’t help myself. I blurted out, “His Holiness.” I was joking, of course, and got the belly laughs I was looking for. What’s really funny is that, since then, I still have friends who will occasionally refer to me as His Holiness.
Late for Supper
As a matter of course, I try to go by the old saying, “You can call me anything but late for supper.” That seems to work pretty well for me (and for my acquaintances). There are still those folks who can’t bring themselves to call me by my first name, but that’s okay. I’m old school on a lot of things myself—just not in the title department.
In this weird stream of consciousness, my next thought takes me to an old Gospel song I haven’t heard in years. I guess it was the word, supper, that did it. It was written by Jim Reeves and recorded by everyone under the sun. I think my favorite version of it was done by Johnny Cash. The song takes the listener back to the days when Mom would call at the end of a long day of playing out in the neighborhood, “Come home, come home, it’s suppertime.” As the lyrics develop, the song then transitions to what the Apostle John calls, “the Wedding Supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:6-9).
“Some days are like that.”
In Revelation, John speaks of a celebration that occurs in Heaven when the Bride of Christ (the church) is invited to come home to a wedding banquet. It’s for that reason (among others) that we in the church often refer to death as “going home.” I remember in my early days as a pastor having a parishioner often say to me, “Dave, I just want to go home.” Some days are like that.
Suppertime is something to which most of look forward. It’s a time of gathering, a time of winding down, and a time of fellowship with the ones we love the most. These days, with much of my family scattered to the four winds, suppertime is a tad less fulfilling than it used to be. I always look forward to those times, mostly on holidays, when the whole family is back together again for a big meal. There’s nothing quite like it. The reunion in Heaven is going to be a doozy. I hear God can really throw a great dinner party.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]