Luke 14:15-24 The Message
15That triggered a response from one of the guests: “How fortunate the one who gets to eat dinner in God’s kingdom!”
16-17Jesus followed up. “Yes. For there was once a man who threw a great dinner party and invited many. When it was time for dinner, he sent out his servant to the invited guests, saying, ‘Come on in; the food’s on the table.’
18″Then they all began to beg off, one after another making excuses. The first said, ‘I bought a piece of property and need to look it over. Send my regrets.’
19″Another said, ‘I just bought five teams of oxen, and I really need to check them out. Send my regrets.’
20″And yet another said, ‘I just got married and need to get home to my wife.’
21″The servant went back and told the master what had happened. He was outraged and told the servant, ‘Quickly, get out into the city streets and alleys. Collect all who look like they need a square meal, all the misfits and homeless and wretched you can lay your hands on, and bring them here.’
22″The servant reported back, ‘Master, I did what you commanded— and there’s still room.’
23-24″The master said, ‘Then go to the country roads. Whoever you find, drag them in. I want my house full! Let me tell you, not one of those originally invited is going to get so much as a bite at my dinner party.'”
In the previous scripture Jesus was telling the people at the dinner that they should invite the nobodies, the homeless, and the people who could never possibly repay the hospitality, to their parties.
So now he offers a story about a man who did just that. He had invited all the “right” people but they were busy, had more important things to do. What else do you do? Of course you find others who will gladly come to your party. Why waste the food, the decorations, and the music when you can simply find more people?
In addition, the people who will be arriving—those who need a rest, need a good meal—they will appreciate it even more than the snoots that had better things to do.
I can’t help but wonder what invitations we’ve turned down? What fabulous celebrations have we missed because we’re too busy to pay attention?
Have we become like those who have too much to do than celebrate with our friends and neighbors, our church family? What keeps us from showing up at the party? What about Sunday mornings?
It’s so easy to forget that every Sunday is an Easter celebration, a celebration of our living God, of Jesus Christ who death could not defeat. What keeps us from celebrating on Sunday mornings?
Lord of the Dance, you that have promised the best celebration and party of all times, let our hearts rejoice in the joy of your resurrection! Let us clear our schedules so nothing stands in the way of celebrating and worshipping you. Praise be to you, amen.