“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind…and you will be blessed” Luke 14:13-14a.
There is science that suggests we are drawn to people we perceive to be most like us. And you know you’ve done it: you’ve sized people up to see if they are just right for you before ever venturing into a conversation with them. I have. I use any social cues I can find to discover how much they may be like me. Because if they’re like me, then just maybe they will like me.
I suppose it goes back to our deep need for belonging and our profound fear of rejection. So birds of a feather flock together, offering each other a normalizing influence. C.S. Lewis astutely observed friendship is born at the moment when one person turns to another and says, “What! You too?”
Only thing is it seems that the kingdom of God doesn’t run along the lines of anticipated social structuring.
God doesn’t invite those to his table who are most like him or who have some esteemed qualification. God is not Gatsby, throwing lavish parties for the up-and-comings-already-arrived dignitaries. You don’t get an invite because of a connection to someone important or your own reputation for throwing spectacular parties.
Who is at the table?
- the poor
- the crippled
- the lame
- the blind
- those hungry for bread
- those not too busy with business, busyness, and self-absorption
- those who are not looking for a seat of honor
Who is at the table? Only the humble. The ones found roaming the roads and lanes of life. The ones who friends, family, and rich neighbors are in short supply. The ones who find feasting with God an honor and his bread a delicacy. They are pinching themselves with disbelief, “Am I here by mistake?” In essence, the ones who know they don’t deserve to be there and could never repay the extraordinary generosity of friendship offered to them by their host.
It would appear that only the humble know better than to send regrets for the feast of a lifetime. Only the humble find the blessing.
Reflecting on this chapter has me asking two questions:
1) How do I see myself at the table? Do I recognize that I am the poor, the blind, the lame, and crippled guest? Am I there for because I am hungry for the bread of the kingdom of God or to polish up my personal need for honor?
2) Who is at my table? Have I embraced humility enough that other poor, blind, lame and crippled will look at me and exclaim, “What! You too?”
I’m joining Margaret for the #LentChallenge of reading the New Testament in forty days. Today’s reading is Luke 13-19. Join us!