Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Luke 14 - On Food and Guests

Jesus goes into several discourses about food, banquets and guests. First, he talks about where you should sit if you are invited - humble yourself or you will be humbled by someone else. Second, he talks about who you should invite - those who can't pay you back. (And here I am, just after sending out my wedding invitations that included instructions on how people can pay us back. Don't forget the Ikea gift card option!) Third, he says the people who were invited won't show up anyway, so the people who get to enjoy the feast in the end are the crippled, blind and lame.

My question is, how strongly is the banquet metaphor tied to the Kingdom of God?

It seems very nice to simply equate the banquet invitation with the sharing of the gospel. Then, I'm perfectly okay inviting only friends and relatives to my wedding, as long as I'm sharing the gospel with those who can't pay me back. Sharing the gospel doesn't financially cost me anything, but inviting strangers to my wedding does.

The same rings true for choosing where to sit. If I'm talking about the kingdom and I'm going to be in the presence of Moses and Elijah and David of course I'm going to take the crappy seat in the corner - that's obviously where I belong. But, if that means day-to-day life I've got some thinking to do. We don't often fight over the best seats at dinner (at least not in my house), so what are the modern equivalents? The people we hang out with? The people we share with? The things we buy? The things we piously refrain from buying and let everyone know we refrained from buying? The people we help? The people we tell about the people we help?
All of these?

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