Jesus does not only eat (and converse) with the marginalised he also eats (and speaks) with leaders.
They did take notice of him; he was being invited to the dinner parties of the rich.
The stories Jesus tells in this context are clearly recognisable and applicable for those in the centre of society. They are stories for people who are being invited to dinner parties, for people with enough self-confidence to take the best seat. They are stories for people with the means to give a banquet. Are they stories for people like us?
Jesus tries to convince his audience that true humility (enough confidence in who you are so that you can always honour whoever you meet) and true hospitality (inviting in new people –not always the same old crowd who already belong) pay off.
Humility interestingly pays off before the resurrection; true hospitality will also pay off but later. Jesus does not really mention the virtues themselves he describes them in stories. What stories do we have about these virtues in our culture and churches? In a way these two virtues belong together for true hospitality you need true humility. You need to respect and honour others whoever they are to invite them into relationship.
Jesus is being an advocate for the poor and marginalised, because a society (and a world) in which the rich and powerful are humble and hospitable is a better place for everybody. I wonder what this means for us, individually, as church and as a nation: to be humble and hospitable?
28 August 2016
Luke 14:1, 7-14
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.