Jesus must have been a heck of a dinner guest. In this week's gospel lesson we read that he was dining with some Pharisees and just can't resist giving them a lesson in ettiquette, God-style. So he talks about where to sit at a banquet and why, and who to invite and not invite and why, none of which seems to be "right" according to social "norms," then or now. It's a lesson in how God and God's people express humility and radical hospitality. Not coincidently, we will celebrate the Lord's Supper in this week's service.
Notes from the Preacher
I started the sermon referring to this program: Animal Babies: First Year on Earth. You can have a look at it if you like.
In the middle of the sermon, the video skips at my personal favorite part, a nice little parallel construction that went like this:
"We need to pay attention to the blind, lame, poor, crippled.
- When we overlook them, we find ourselves blind to God’s love.
- When we fail to help them, we find ourselves lame as the hands of Christ.
- When we neglect them, we find ourselves impoverished in the kingdom of God.
- When we pass by them, we find ourselves crippled in the character of Christ.
And even so, all of this is still self serving. We still are more worried about ourselves than them.
- That is the nature of sin, being self centered enough that even obeying God is all about me.
Fortunately, God is loving and merciful toward the poor, crippled, lame, and blind, and sinners, too."
Don't forget to do your homework this week: Notice your interactions within your social hierarchy, your tendencies to "play up" or "play down" your own position, and the opportunities you have to show God's love and hospitality to strangers.