Bible (cl)

Lk 14:15-24
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"A certain man made a great supper, and he invited many people. He sent out his servant at supper time to tell those who were invited, Come, for everything is ready now. They all as one began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please have me excused. Another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I must go try them out. Please have me excused. Another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I can not come. That servant came, and told his lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, maimed, blind, and lame. The servant said, 'Lord, it is done as you commanded, and there is still room.' The lord said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you that none of those men who were invited will taste of my supper.

Easily explained as the children of God, Israel, having rejected what is on offer,
so God will turn to the gentiles and others outside the family when it comes to filling the heavenly feast.
The parable appears only in Luke's Gospel and fits so neatly into his message that we may well doubt its authenticity.
It sounds much more like Luke (or one of his persuasion) preaching than an original saying of Jesus.

If we do accept the message of the parable,
we may comfort ourselves with the thought that we are those outside the original group who are invited.
We are those who were poor and crippled spiritually because we did not have the great inheritance of God's people.
Yet surely the situation has changed somewhat, for we , the gentiles, are now rejecting God's invitation
as firmly and as frequently as the original guests, the people of Israel.

It could be a call to open the doors of our comfortable middle-class churches, as it was to open the synagogues,
to those whose character and behaviour are beyond the boundaries that we set; and to invite them to our house-groups too,
A call to radical care for, and inclusion of, the marginalised, the smelly, ragged, or diseased.

. Or it could be that we have got it quite wrong.
In our formal interfaces to God, we make excuses about what we should and should not do.
It is those whose acceptance is whole-hearted and unlimited who will go through the narrow gate,
mainly because they are carrying less baggage with them.
You can't fit a laden camel through the needle's eye!

So why aren't we all living the life that Jesus showed us?
Why do I spend time weeding the garden, when I could be helping at a soup kitchen?
Why do I worry about my finances rather than let God look after them?
Why do I listen to God's written word rather to His spoken one?

I know what I should do, could do, but I can't, but then I wonder; is that right?
For I realise that God gave me a brain and resources and expects me to use them for His glory
God gave me a family and expects me to love and care for them.
God gave me Freedom and expects me to make use of his gifts,
to enjoy and use them rather than to ignore them.
God made me what I am and He rejoices in that.
Even if She often thinks that I could do better.