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Friday, May 17, 2013
Today’s Reading | Luke 14:12–24
He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “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 regrets.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 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.’” (NRSV)
The story Jesus tells here is surprisingly easy to relate to, even in our own time. Most of us have had the experience of trying to plan a party or an event for our friends, throwing out some dates and times, and finding out that most of the people we’ve invited cannot come. Nobody likes that feeling, and usually you think to yourself, “This was going to be so much fun. I can’t believe everyone thinks they have something better to do!”
Jesus tells this story because he’s making a point about God. There is nothing better we could possibly be doing with our time than spending it with God—in prayer, in study, in contemplation—but we tend to neglect these opportunities in favor of doing something else. Maybe God thinks, “I can’t believe Adam is going to the grocery store instead of praying. What a fool!”
Include God in your plans today—don’t turn down God’s invitation. You may not realize it yet, but the dinner to which God has invited you is worth rearranging your plans for.
Gracious God, help me to slow down a little and make more time for you. Amen.
Written by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor for Adult Education and Worship
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