Monday, May 14, 2007

Inviting Others to Dinner



Below is a "simple" saying by Jesus presented by Luke. I have rarely heard it discussed, let alone seen it put into practice.


Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed."

I find this is to be a difficult teaching.
Not that it's hard to understand. On the contrary, it's quite simple.
However, it is yet another example of a subversive message by Jesus that challenges those in power. Here and throughout the gospels he uses the notion of "table" as a microcosm of society and shows a new order, set agains accepted cultural norms.
It's somewhat easy to dissect the polemic pronounced by Jesus and analyze how he rejects the status quo. It's more difficult, however, to put it into practice.

Thoughts?

- David

9 comments:

Carrie, The Modern Housewife said...

When I was younger, I was not a fan of my parents having non-famiy members over for Thanksgiving, or my parents having their cab driver join them for Sunday lunch. But now I get it. I love fellowship over meals. I love having people over & going over to others' homes for dinner. I loved people I didn't know that well bringing us food after the birth of Ethan. Jesus definitely knew what he was talking about.

It's easier said than done, though. I'm often too "Busy" to have people I KNOW come for dinner, much less people I don't know. For me, personally, it's not fear of strangers as much as it is my Selfishness & Busyness. Thanks for the great reminder about how much this can impact ourselves & the lives of others.

After we settle into our new place, this will be one of the first things on my list.

Carrie, The Modern Housewife said...

Okay, I must add that I am selfishly not ready for a banquet for the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind. I don't know how to do this. But serving others with the gift of hospitality will be my "simple" beginning...

Sarah said...

What holds me back from following this teaching of Jesus are a few things---selfishness, like Carrie mentioned, possibly fear if it was someone that I completely did not know, and part of it is trying to figure out who it is that I should invite. Again, I think that this would be easier if I had the support of others with us(which would take away the fear in me).

lance said...

nan smith could give us some pointers. i have eaten with cab drivers, bog lots cashiers and tons of other random strangers at her table.

lance said...

BIG lots cashiers. sorry

Anonymous said...

"If the Holy Spirit told Paul not to go to one location and then told him not to go to another location and then said go to this location, then the Holy Spirit can certainly guide us to know who, if, and when to invite someone." "Paul on his missionary journeys, went to where the people gathered and led many people to the Lord through these meetings. We must get out like Jesus and Paul and get in conversations with people. Many people are praying and searching for meaning in their lives and we who embody Christ have the answer. If is a life and death situation for people and we must realize that in order to invite people to our homes." Nan

Malia said...

I grew up in Abilene, TX and every Thanksgiving my mother always found college students who could not go home for Thanksgiving. So, we always had college students with us on Thanksgiving and those are some of my most favorite holiday memories. And I feel it is in line with the teaching - those students couldn't necessarily pay my parents back for having them over for that meal. My parents were just happy to be able to offer them a home away from home even if it was just for a few hours.

Zane said...

I enjoy having meals with a variety of folks. I just find that there are a lot of obstacles to that built into my current lifestyle. Busy-ness is #1 for me, and insulation from contact with the needy, sick, foreign, old, etc. is #2. Not that there aren't opportunities even as it is, of course. But I want to order my life in such a way as to intentionally remove those large obstacles. Commune, anybody? :) Thanks for discussion and thoughts.... Z

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