Today’s readings: Deuteronomy 1:1-8; 1 Timothy 6:6-21; Luke 14:12-24
We learn an important lesson in our reading from Luke 24: nothing is to come before accepting God’s invitation to his kingdom. Responding to a man who stated, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God,” Jesus told the parable of a man who invited many people to a banquet. When the food was ready, servants were sent to tell those invited to come. All of them made excuses, which is unusual.
When planning our daughters’ wedding receptions, we were advised to plan food for half the number of guests invited. The man in the parable did not get that many to come. Rather than let the food spoil, he ordered his servants to go out and invite the poor and infirmed. With seating still available, the servants went back out and compelled people to attend. This story was scandalous to Jesus’ hearers. Back then, no wealthy person would ever invite the poor to a banquet. Jesus startled his hearers by saying that God’s kingdom is especially for the poor.
As servants of Jesus today, may we be reminded that we are not to be selective about whom we invite to come to God’s heavenly banquet.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, fill us with your Spirit to go out through the gospel and invite all people to attend your heavenly banquet; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Carl Haynes, the Pastor of Christiana Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.