To Sup with Jesus
In my tradition, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper every time we gather as a community; the table is the central, unifying feature of my denomination. Yet, I sometimes fear my welcome is grudging and my heart inhospitable. In today’s reading, Jesus tells a story about what it means to truly welcome others.
In the parable of the great banquet, we find that those invited to supper feel no compunction to attend. Their excuses are flimsy, though ostensibly reasonable to themselves. Imagine the scene: a table full to overflowing with food that would be left to rot; an angry, embarrassed host; and a squandered opportunity to commune. The host wisely decides that the hall should be filled by whoever wants to partake and sends his servant out to proclaim such. “Come to our feast!” we can almost hear him cry. “Come to the table where all shall have their fill and none be turned away!”
Is this not what the beloved community promises in its fullness? Is this not the clarion call of the Lord, who invites us all to the table, no matter one’s place in society? The last shall be first, indeed! As we progress through this Lenten season together, may we welcome the stranger, that they may know the kindness of God. May we feed the hungry, that they may know the goodness of God. May we house those without homes, that they may know the shelter of God. May we cultivate hearts disposed toward those who needs God’s message of hope the most, that we might be utterly changed.
Heather Hunnicutt is a seminarian attending Phillips Theological Seminary and under care for ordination in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Georgia. She attends First Christian Church of Marietta, GA.
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