It is the first Sunday after a full moon after the spring equinox of April in the year 30AD and all the restaurants in Judea are packed for brunch. After all, it’s the very first Easter and people are real excited to get their bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Mimsies on. Most of the people crowding the restaurants are even sure what Easter means, but they have an innate sense that they should be at brunch today.
Rhoda is the hostess at Judea’s Applebee’s and she is weeded like she has never been weeded before. “Why are we so busy today? I don’t get it! Is it some holiday I don’t know about it? Jesus Christ!”
At this precise moment and man walks up to her. “Yes?” he asks her.
“Yes, what?” she says back to the man.
“You just called my name,” he tells her. “What can I do for you, my child?”
“No, I didn’t. Whatever. Can I help you?”
The man is disheveled and dirty with no shoes and barely a cloth wrapped wrapped around his nether regions. His hair is long and stringy and he smells of dirt and decay. Still, he is somehow sexy as all hell and his eyes seem to see right to her soul.
“I’d like a table for 13. I’m starving and I literally have not eaten in three days. The rest of my party will be here as soon as they hear that I’m back.”
“Are you kidding me?” asks Rhoda. “We are slammed. You want a table for 13 people, who aren’t even here yet? Look, I’ll put you on the list but it’s going to be at least a two hour wait. And by the way, no shirt, no shoes, no service, so…”
“Two hours? Can I at least get some bread or a glass of wine while I wait? You don’t understand what I’ve been through. I’m exhausted. I just moved a 10-ton boulder from a cave and walked two miles to get here.”
Ignoring the man, Rhoda calls out the next name on her list. “Nebuchadnezzar, party of four. Nebuchadnezzar?”
A man and his three wives approach the host stand are are escorted to a prime booth right next to the window. The scraggly haired man waits patiently for Rhoda to return, for he has the patience of a saint and speaks with her again.
“Look, I didn’t want to have to pull the ‘do you know who I am card?’ but ummm.. I’m Jesus. Jesus Christ, your savior?”
“I’m sorry, who?”
“Jesus? The Son of God? I’m kinda a big deal and I’m pretty sure that I’m the reason you’re so busy today. It’s Easter. I have risen. So, if you could just pull some tables together that would be great. Mary Magdalene is out right now gathering my disciples and then we’ll be ready to order. So, chop chop.”
Rhoda, who only has one nerve left, looks at Jesus with a fiery intent. All morning she has been dealing with mobs of people who inexplicably came out of nowhere and bombarded her restaurant for brunch. This was supposed to be an easy shift that she picked up from the other hostess, Ruth, who needed the day off for her brother’s birthday. This dirty homeless-looking man has just gotten on Rhoda’s very last nerve.
“Okay, sir? I’m busy. I don’t know who you are and I don’t know why you think you are more important than any of these other people who are waiting their turn for a table. Go wash your feet, comb your hair and I will put you on the list. If and when your so-called disciples decide to show up, you can let me know that your full party has arrived. Until then, I suggest you wait like everyone else. You may think you’re someone special, but as long as I am the hostess here at Applebee’s, everyone gets treated fairly. I’m sorry you had to ‘roll a boulder from a cave’ or whatever, but that’s not my issue. Every one here has their story, is that understood?”
Jesus looks down at his soiled feet that are covered with blood and realizes that Rhoda is right. Who is he to expect preferential treatment? I mean sure, he died for her sins and was resurrected and just wanted to try that new Nashville Chicken Sandwich before he was whisked away to Heaven to sit down in the place of honor at God’s right hand, but it is only fair that he waits his turn. He turned his other cheek and said, “Thank you Rhoda. Please put my name on the list and I will let you know when my friends get here.”
“Great,” says Rhoda. “Jesus party of 13, got it. I’ll call you when your table is ready. In the mean time, you might want to hop, skip and jump over to to the Wal-Mart and buy some flip-flops and a t-shirt, alright?”
Jesus solemnly nods in agreement and shuffles away from the host stand.
“Bathsheba, party of three!” Rhoda yells out. “Bathsheba! Going once, going twice…”