A TABLE FOR ALL
As we read through the Gospel of Luke this church year, two of the distinctive features we find is that Jesus is either praying or sharing a meal. When Jesus shares a meal with others he turns no one away from the table. He is often criticized for this. But Jesus doesn’t discriminate. He is often invited to dine with wealthy and learned people. At such times Jesus will tell a story and invite the wealthy and influential to rethink who they include in their table fellowship:
“When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.” (Luke 14:12-13)
Jesus tells us that there is a blessing for us when we invite those who cannot repay us in any way. I wonder about the implications this has for our community. Who do we invite or include at our tables Who are we willing to sit down with to share a meal?
When we celebrate the meal that Jesus gave us to remember him, we proclaim all are welcome, all are invited. Eating together is a way of saying to another person, “I love you.” Jesus showed God’s love by eating with people. When we share the meal of Jesus, God is saying to all people, “I love you!”
Finally, the act of inviting people means letting them know that they are welcome. We sometimes assume that people should know they are welcome in church, but all too often the history of the church and our sinful nature has communicated the opposite. Since we cannot assume that people know they are invited to our “table fellowship”, what ways and means will we use to extend God’s invitation to all in our community?
Blessings and peace,