Invite the Misfits
Have you ever noticed that where you sit and who you sit with can tell other people about you? We see this a lot at wedding receptions where people tend to be grouped by categories like friends, family or coworkers. Even in our everyday lives, the people around us influence our thoughts, ideas and behaviors.
In this next part of Luke 14, Jesus tells a story about a wedding to teach the people who are sitting with Him about who’s really important around the table. He first directs the guests to choose seats of least importance instead of always looking for seats of honor.
For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Where do you prioritize your seating or the seating around you for someone who can elevate you socially, relationally or toward your goals? Do you cancel plans when a better option comes along? Do you side with someone in your family to stay on their good side? Do you network with only certain people at work who can help you move forward in your career?
We chase honor when we think our value comes from the seat we’re sitting in. When our value comes from other people, we need to be held up. We need to look out for ourselves and live our lives in a way that puts us above other people. This can look like pride, needing recognition or living in such a way that societal rules don’t apply to you. It turns the seats at the table into a game of musical chairs where everyone is pushing their way to the most important seat.
Jesus wants us to know that our value comes from Him. He has invited us in to sit with Him and our seats are secured in our relationship with Him. Even if you get up from your seat, no one else will take your place. Jesus will not take your seat back or give it to someone else. So our focus can be on inviting others in instead of fighting to keep our place.
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Invite the misfits. That’s Jesus’ call to us as the church. Instead of living our lives with the same people over and over again, He wants us to go out and find the outcast, the people who don’t have anything in common with us and who we won’t benefit from.
Who is being excluded from your table? Is your church, small group or social circle always full of the same people? Who are you seeing in the peripheral but not actively inviting in? Who is Jesus calling you to get up and go after, to invite them to His table?
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