One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.” But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my apologies.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my apologies.” Another said, “I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.” So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” And the slave said, “Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” Then the master said to the slave, “Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.” ‘(Luke 14:15-24)
Is your hospitality inclusive? Ouch. I don’t remember the last time I invited someone I didn’t know to my dinner table. Ouch, again. I’ve been reading in Luke, and I listened to an amazing sermon by JD Greear recently that talked about hospitality. The Kingdom of Heaven is compared a lot to a banquet. Are you inviting the lame, the sick, and people you don’t know to your literal banquet table? You see, God prepares the banquet (The Kingdom of Heaven) and he is inviting us in. Are we too busy to accept the invitation? Too busy with lesser things to help our neighbor? Property, success, and relationships stopped these people from accepting their invitations to dine with the King. What is keeping you from attending and serving at the banquet? In what ways have we recently declined the, “call” to help the single mom, visit the elderly, or love on our neighbors because you are too busy? May we never forget why Jesus came in the first place… it was for all of us to eventually DINE at his banquet table in heaven.