Reading: Luke 14: 1 and 7-14
Today’s passage is about welcome, inclusion, and openness. It is about these things for us and for those we invite to the table. God’s table is a place for conversation, compromise, and acceptance. It is a place for all to come and experience God’s love, grace, and presence.
For all, being welcome is key. In love we need to create tables and spaces where all people feel welcome. Each must be able to come as they are and to be comfortable in that. We need to be comfortable with any that come too. We cannot limit who is welcome in any way. To do so is to remove God’s love. We cannot do this. All, through God’s love, are welcome.
Once each feels welcome, they gain voice and place at the table. The sense of being included brings the freedom to be open and honest and transparent. This can be scary because it makes the table a place for frank and often difficult conversations. It can open our eyes to needs we never knew existed. It can place upon our hearts convictions about the need for change and to corrects injustices.
Once the conversation has started, we begin to see each other as the same and as brothers and sisters in Christ. The openness of the experience will lead us to compromise and to a willingness to give of self. As God works in our hearts, we are led to be more accepting. We see less and less our differences and grow to see more and more that we are much the same. As we come to see God in others, we see their true value. In humility we gain an understanding that we are not the most important thing in the world.
Once we understand that all are beloved children of God, we are forever changed. We live life with an open heart and mind. We are willing to enter into a conversation and relationship with any and all. We are willing to walk with those who suffer so that we can bring relief. We are willing to give of ourselves in service to others. This approach to life may sound familiar. It is how Jesus lived and how He calls us to live. May it be so.