August 31, 2008

Everyone Welcome?Really!

Luke 14:15-24

“Go out … and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”
Luke 14:21


When the red carpet was rolled out, the white linen spread, the finest dinnerware set in place, and the tenderest meats prepared by the best cooks?when all was ready for this banquet, who were the honored guests? In Jesus' story in Luke 14, he turns our expectations upside down. Many guests received invitations, but they all dishonored the host by giving lame excuses. The honored guests instead were people who never received such invitations, people who were excluded from social functions because of their disadvantage or disability. Once the guests sat down, some tables still had room. The master of the banquet told his servants to find absolutely anyone they could to fill every seat. Then the great feast would begin. What was Jesus saying in this parable? He was sounding a warning. People who think too much of themselves and depend on their own strength have little room for God in their lives. No seats at Christ's table will be open for them. Jesus offered grace. He loves the people whom others are likely to ignore. People who do not trust in their own strength, who accept God's invitation to the feast, will enjoy all of God's riches and find themselves welcome as his honored guests. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved to enjoy his lively celebration forever!

Jesus, thank you for your love that has reached wide and deep. Thank you for loving me. Help me to love others and to invite them to enjoy full life with you. Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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