Luke 14:15-24 NRSVue
15One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’ 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ 19Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 20Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ 23Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’ ”
“Copyright © 2021 National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.”
Some thoughts on this scripture
The invitation from Jesus to the banquet is for now. The time and place we meet Jesus and the mystery of God is now. Only the present is alive; the past is gone and the future yet to come. Prayer of any sort is entering into the ‘now' of God. God is the God of the present tense. The present moment is a sacrament of God's presence among us. Every breath we breathe is the gift of life and of love from God to us, in time of prayer and all day.
God's invitation is from the heart. God's love, like a generous banquet, is for all. The story presents God as being disappointed and even angry that we do not respond. Whatever anger God has does not last; the empty chairs at the banquet are to be filled by people who might not expect an invitation. All are invited to prayer, to love and to worship.
It is easy to become familiar with comforts, to lose the savour of good things.
I pray that I might have the generosity of the host who threw the banquet open. I think of how I embody the welcome and freedom that offers the goodness of God to all.
Like the people invited to feast, I often resist God’s invitation, I take time now just to be present with God who loves my company.