SCRIPTURE: Luke 14:12-14
12 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. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Emilie M. Townes shares that “The realm of God is also about how God offers an invitation in our lives to receive a genuine blessing when we learn that it is crassly unfaithful to store up spiritual brownie points to note our goodness and then make it worse by ostentatious displays of that goodness. Receiving a blessing that invites us to grow into a deeper relationship with God is not something we can work our way into through acts designed to display our worth. No. God asks us to live into our createdness through our everyday acts toward each other and in and through our relationship with God and creation. Jesus wants us to understand that our all-too-human drive to seek the best seat in the house or at the party will not mark genuine participation in God’s mercy or love.”
God is so generous with us through God’s love and grace, and especially the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to save the world. God calls us to love our neighbors, to care for the widow and orphan, to be the body of Christ in the world. Jesus also tells us that “…the last will be first, and the first will be last…” (Matthew 16:20). This can be hard sometimes, especially in a world where the message from society is often to sacrifice everything and everyone to achieve the best of life (money, fame, power, etc.). And while we are told that we “will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous,” I believe we are also rewarded in this life when we seek to help others and see how that help has positive impacts on their lives.
What in this passage challenges your own assumptions and practices? How do you think you could overcome those challenges?
Righteous God, help us to live into our createdness in ways that we have never imagined. Warm our hearts and fill us with your Spirit that we might welcome all people into our lives generously and full of love and grace. Amen.