This Sunday Jesus is once again meeting and eating at a Pharisee’s house (see the whole preaching text below). He sees everyone shifting around to sit in the place of most honor at the table and he tells a parable which seems to be more about social etiquette and only somewhat about their/our place before God. He ends the first half of this Biblical section with, “for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." After this he concludes his talk by saying that these people who can afford to hold a banquet should instead of inviting each other (their friends) should “when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
All in all, this lesson can be classified as a pretty traditional and classic teaching topic for Jesus. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus (and others) retell this/his agenda again and again in various ways. “The first shall be last and the last shall be first,” and “what you do to the least of these among us, you do to me.” But it was hard for the people of Jesus day to hear this and just as hard for us to hear. When we hear this it is very easy to hear only a word of judgement. “Do this or else!”
But this is not a word of judgement, rather it is an invitation to join in/with the Grace and unconditional Love of God and God’s ongoing reign. As Children of God we are recipients of so many gifts, including all this Grace, all this Forgiveness and all this Love. What else should we do with all these gifts of life and grace but live in them now and forever and share with everyone we meet. Such a grace filled challenge!
See you in Church,
Interim Pastor Craig Storlie