Big family gatherings bring happy memories for me. Some of my favorite times were spent around a big table with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins together.
Jesus loved big meals, too. In Luke 14, Jesus, a guest at a Pharisee’s table, tells the story of a man giving a banquet. He invites his chosen guests. When the food is ready, and the guests are summoned, they give excuses why they cannot come. The disappointed host sends the servant back out again and again, to bring in “the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” The host decided to fill his table with strangers, angry that those he invited would not come.
As a church, this is a story we live every Sunday as we bless the bread and wine. We say, “Jesus is the host of our table and freely welcomes one and all.”
Help us be mindful, Lord, that this is not our table, and that we, too, are all welcomed guests.
This message was adapted from “God’s Table: Room for All” by Linda Daniels-Block that appeared in the January/February 2005 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.