Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Luke 14:12-14 (NRSV)
He said also to the one who had invited him, “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. But 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.”
Jesus warned religious folk against the temptation to seek worldly honor and glory. The world says, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” In this political season there’s a lot of back scratching going on! This convenient philosophy succeeds in keeping the powerful in power while persons most in need can’t get “invited to the table” since they have no means to reciprocate the invitation.
Jesus’ standards for us are much higher. We are to live out love for one another, even our enemies—not because of who they are, but because of who we are and whose we are. If we only got what we could repay, we would not be celebrating Easter right now. But because of God’s gracious love, we have something to celebrate: Resurrected life!
May the grace of God cover us, fill us, and transform us so that we can go forth to share God’s amazing, gracious love and life with one another. Hear the good news: There’s plenty of room at the table—even for you and me!
Gracious God, thank you for giving us mercy before we knew we needed it, love in spite of our weakness, and life in Jesus that overcomes the world. Help us to receive these abundant gifts fully and share them generously with all our brothers and sisters. In Jesus’ loving, giving, and living name we pray. Amen.
Go with God.