October 13, 2012

God Loves Alleys and Country Lanes

Luke 14:16-24

“Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”
—Luke 14:21


Again and again this month we have discovered the lavish grace of God. But on whom does God pour his abundant mercy? God loves even those whom no one else would consider.

In today’s parable, those invited to the great feast replied with flimsy excuses. They were more concerned about their own affairs than about honoring the invitation of their friend and attending his special banquet.

Are any of us like that? When God invites us to join in his great celebration, do we turn a cold shoulder? Do we set our own agendas and priorities and neglect to listen to what the Holy Spirit wants from us?

Thankfully the parable does not end there. God continually invites more guests until his feast is fully attended. Like a census worker hunting for every hidden citizen, God searches the city streets and the alleys, where the displaced and the drifters live. Then he heads out to the country lanes to invite those who are further displaced and disadvantaged. No one is left uninvited except those who cross out their own names.

We are like the servant who brings the invitation. We have the privilege of inviting everyone and anyone to the greatest party ever planned, the union of God and his people. Don’t leave anyone off your invitation list! God doesn’t.

Lord, thanks for planning the party to which all are invited. Convict me of my selfish pursuits and use me to bring your invitation to everyone. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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