Our Jesus stories are full of the fascinating and compelling upside-world of God’s realm – where the last shall be first, and the poor, oppressed, and despised become persons of honor. As much as we might desire such a world, these parables can be difficult for us to translate into our 21st century, everyday lives. Classism is even more powerful than racism or homophobia. Rules of polite behavior can easily become perceived laws and barriers that strangle the love of God. We fear the loss of status, the discomfort and ridicule which may follow violations of those rules. We want to cling to places and people “just like us,” often without realizing it.
Here, where we gather in faith to share a meal of radical communion, there must be no rule but love, no status but that of companion. There must be a treasured place at the table for each one needing to be fed in body or in spirit. So Jesus counsels both hosts and guests to go beyond the social niceties of his day. In the reign of God, all must be served. The answer to every etiquette question is love, without counting the cost. Ask yourselves: How do we live that out in as a church and in our personal lives? It’s not easy. Do we understand that church doesn’t just happen on Sunday morning?
Peace and grace,