Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Who invited you anyway?

In our regular Tuesday Night Tribal Gatherings, which continue to attract a regular crowd of believers and seekers alike, we have been looking at some of the Parables of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel. Diverse life experiences, journeys of faith and opinion all colour what are usually lively times of honest discussion and study. Everyone may speak and everyone is made to feel welcome. Looking at the parable of the Banquet in Luke 14 served as a timely reminder to ‘keep going’ - the over looked and ignored should not be left out of a place at the table, either in our homes, our churches or indeed in heaven itself. Hospitality shouldn’t be shown on the basis of what may be received in return - that is in essence what the Gospel of Grace is all about. We take our place at the ‘table of the Lord’ not by some divine right, following on the heals of another or because we got lucky. We take our place because as Frederich Beuchner writes, ‘the party wouldn’t have been complete without us’ - God himself invites us. Who are to judge who is more or less deserving a place at the same table feeding on a feast of such delicacies as mercy, grace, justice and love?

‘I was hungry and you fed me, 
   I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, 
   I was homeless and you gave me a room, 
   I was shivering and you gave me clothes, 
   I was sick and you stopped to visit, 
   I was in prison and you came to me..........
.............. 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.' (Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 25)