Season After Pentecost: The Gospel Passage – Being a “presence”, and doing “good” at “good” times

On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.” (Luke 14:1)

I am running a little behind, beloved reader. Not that you will notice, but it is already Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath) when I am sitting down to write this. After sunset, so technically no longer the Sabbath. I had the day off from work Friday, and by the time I got back I was tired enough that I could not think to write. And Saturday during daylight, time just flew by! So here I am Saturday night doing Friday’s “work.”

My “working” on the Sabbath/Saturday would have provoked more comment back in the time of Jesus then it does now. The verses that the lectionary does not include describes Jesus healing someone who needed to be healed, and should not have had to wait until the next day. Maybe in the same way writing these posts is important enough work to break the no working rule of the Sabbath. I hope so, because tomorrow/Sunday I will have to write the post for Saturday!

When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Verses 7 – 11)

In thinking about these verses and the parable, I humorously compared it to seating as church, where some pews (whether they be the front or back or the sides) are seen to be more favored. Or the “right” to sit at the end of the pew and then be told by the usher to move down!

O beloved reader! Humanity does like its status and symbol, and does these as rights rather than privileges. Jesus is correct that it would be humbling to be asked to move; and exalting to be invited to a more favored spot.

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.” (Verses 12-14)

Scripture does not say for sure, but I have my doubts that Jesus was invited back! Do you seek to curry favor, beloved reader? Some one I know commented that some politicians seem to have planned out each speech, presentation, and statement etc to make a certain impression or present a certain image. I imagine that goes to the heart of politics, and may be why I don’t have much patience with it. That is not to say I am not concerned with my own image; but I try to be true to who I am and not invite or create false impressions. I don’t know if I am humble; I think it would be counter-indicative to try to “curry” humbleness. And when offering hospitality, I don’t expect to be repaid. Be aware, beloved reader, that offering hospitality can be done in many ways. Being “hospitable”, caring, giving etc needs to be done freely without of reward or reciprocation. Thus endth the lesson – mind and Jesus’! May you carry these lessons with you. Selah!


About Carole Boshart

I have two blogs on WordPress. "A Simple Desire" which is based on the daily "Sips of Scripture" published and sent out by Third Way Cafe. "Pondering From the Pacific" is based on my reflections on the world - sometimes religious/spiritual, and sometimes not so much.

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