28th August 2022
Morning Worship – August 2022
A place for everyone
There is a place for all of us in Your family.
No one is excluded, left behind or barred from entry.
Everyone is welcome in Your family.
No one will be shunned, given the cold shoulder or snubbed.
We are all part of Your family.
Reading – Luke 14.1,7-14
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honour, he told them a parable. ‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honour, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, “Give this person your place”, and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honoured in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’
He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’
Reading – Hebrews 13.1-3
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.
The readings today are rich in meaning. In the passage from Luke’s Gospel, Jesus makes reference to the norms of the banquet – everyone has their place and rank. Roman society, including in Judea, was structured around status and honour. If you were invited to the banquet, then you had status – you were accepted. Those not invited were excluded and were not seen as having a place in society.
The world is full of people who have no place or are excluded. The homeless and displaced, people who have lost everything and have nowhere to go.
Jesus is pointed with his host – telling him to invite not just his friends and those within his social set, who will be expected to return the honour of inviting him back. But also, to invite those who cannot repay him – the poor and the outcast.
The parable is also about hospitality – as is the reading from Hebrews. We learn that we are judged by the hospitality we offer others – the poor, homeless and vulnerable especially.
Jesus’ challenge to his host at the banquet is also a challenge to all who are settled and comfortable. How do we offer hospitality and welcome within our communities.
There is a place for all in God’s Kingdom.
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours.
Now and for ever.
Lord, go with us today as we think about including all people.
Inspire us to pray for those in our own neighbourhood who are
Inspire us to be active in seeking to include others and find a
place for everyone in our community.
Thank you that no one is beyond your love and care.
Help us to be people who live and spread that message.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the love of God,
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore.
Posted by Nigel Smetham on Friday, August 26, 2022