The Seven Waiters
In Acts 6:1-8, seven men were chosen by the Apostles to "wait tables." Their duty was to equally distribute food daily among the grow number of Grecian and Hebraic Jew disciples of Jesus Christ, after his ascension into heaven. During this time...
all the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
It didn't take long for sin to start creeping into this loving and unified community of Believers. Two chapters later in Acts 6, Grecian or Hellenistic Jews appealed to the Early Christian Community leaders voicing that their widows had been overlooked by the Hebraic Jews in the daily distribution of food among the Believers. Native Jerusalem/Judea born Hebraic Jews considered the Grecian Jews from Greece "second-class" Israelites, which may have had a hand in this controversy. Nonetheless, the Apostles and leaders of the Early Christian Community where met with a pressing question: "How would they be able to focus their attention on prayer and the ministry of the Word, if they had to dedicate a bulk of their time to divvying up food to a community of disgruntled Jews?"
The choice was made to delegate this task to seven men so the Apostles wouldn't neglect the ministry of the Word of God. But what type of men would be qualified to complete this task? Well...according to Acts 6:3 this is what the job description looked like:
Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.
Wait? So men that the Early Church leaders consider "waiters" in verse 2 had to be full of the Spirit and wisdom? What kind of tables would they be waiting?
All jokes aside, I believe this small narrative passage sets a precedent for anyone who wants to partake in the Lord's work. To truly understand the magnitude of our service to the Lord and His people we must be full of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only moral and spiritual force that can allow us to serve others with the same Unconditional Love that Jesus showed us on the cross.
With the Holy Spirit at the helm of their hearts the seven Spirit-filled waiters --Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolas and Stephen (See Acts 6:8-8:3 for his story) were able to serve this group of multi-Ethnic Jews with true love and compassion. What would it look like if we allowed ourselves to be filled with God's Holy Spirit and wisdom at every level of service in our local church communities? From the janitor to the Head of the Elder's board...