March 15th Lenten Devotional

Seating at the Banquet

Chris Deacon

Luke 14:7-11

 When my wife and I were preparing for our wedding, one of the most stressful things we did was trying to arrange seating at our rehearsal dinner.  With her family and my family mixing like oil and water, we had to be very deliberate where to place everyone and who could sit next to whom.  It makes perfect sense why most weddings have a groom’s side and a brides’ side!  It is no wonder that Jesus gives advice on where to sit at wedding banquets!

Before we take Luke 14:7-11 as merely etiquette advice, we should remember that this is a parable.  Jesus notices the guest seating themselves, some in places of honor and others in lower places.  These people have no idea how the host values them, they are sitting based on where they think they should sit.  He is saying more than “be humble and don’t exalt yourselves.”  He is continuing the theme of reversal that runs so prominently through Luke.  “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled”, “some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last,” and “for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Jesus is warning us not to exalt ourselves too much, because when we start getting too full of ourselves, we begin to think we don’t need God.  We, instead, should humble ourselves, we should realize that we cannot do it on our own, we should realize that we depend on God.  Then we will be exalted when we inherit the Kingdom of God.

Rev. Chris Deacon is a pastor in the PC(USA). He is currently serving the United Parish of Bowie in Bowie, Md, outside of Washington D.C.

©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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