Wednesday, July 17, 2019
“One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the one who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!’” [Luke 14:15]
Jesus had an invitation to the house of a Pharisee. The people invited, in addition to Jesus, were people of influence and power within the church. So, all eyes were on the Pharisee’s special guest and the first thing Jesus did was heal a man with dropsy in front of the Pharisee’s home even though it was the Sabbath. Now no one dared to dispute his actions, but his teachings didn’t stop there. One attendee liked another parable Jesus told, which prompted the verse above. But then Jesus made it clear through yet another parable that the feast being provided by the Pharisee was tainted, as their feast would not welcome all others. Their feast would only welcome like-minded powerful people. Through parables Jesus is pressing these “good church folk” to examine their theology of welcome and inclusion. I wonder what type of figurative feast we prepare through our praxis of being the church? Whom do we welcome and include?
God of all people, I know that I tend to only associate with those who are like me. It is hard to always welcome someone new into my circle of friends. Yet, your challenge to welcome and include others at your feast has urgency. Give me the courage to invite and welcome to your feast all others. Amen.