Saturday 02 June 2012

Bible Book:

"When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid." (v. 12)

Luke 14:12-24 Saturday 2 June 2012


Following on from yesterday's passage , Jesus' wisdom and insightfrom 'observations from a Sabbath meal' continue. Earlier he hadwatched with interest as guests worked out the seating arrangementsfor the occasion. He had no doubt noted who wanted to sit where, aswell as who may have had to be re-seated by the hosts when otherguests arrived. Instead of cringing inwardly and dismissing theobservation, Jesus offers words of wisdom in a parable which maywell have annoyed some guests, while it may well have got othersthinking. Jesus had concluded that those who lift themselves upwill be humbled and those who humble themselves will be lifted up(verse 11).

Here, we see Jesus taking on the host for a one-on-one life lessonabout the guest list. He suggests that instead of inviting friendsand family who could afford to eat at home or lay on a similarspread, consider inviting those who would not be able to return thefavour, such as those with low mobility, no mobility, no sight andno cash. Now, that would have been a guest list worth seeing! Thatsingle suggestion sparked off a conversation about what that mightmean which gave Jesus the perfect opportunity to use the invitationto a meal as a parable for an invitation to salvation and eternallife. Who would have thought that a Sabbath meal would have takenon such deep significance?

In the conversation, Jesus began to demonstrate the kind ofinclusion that he would later pray for and the kind of selflessnessthat a range of charities hold at the core of their work. It ismirrored in the prayer of St Francis of Assisi, which forms thebasis of a popular hymn, and which the late Mother Theresa quoted in her address to the UnitedNations. History is punctuated with people who took thisparable to heart and made it part of the way they live in communitywith God and others.

To Ponder

Draw up a guest list of people with whom youmight like to share a meal. Does it include anyone who 'could notreturn the favour'?

Would you consider praying these words from theprayer of St Francis of Assisi?
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

And how might you be an answer to thisprayer?

Previous Page Friday 01 June 2012
Next Page Sunday 20 May 2012