Hunkered Down Devotion

Luke 14:12-14 (Voice)
12 Jesus still wasn’t finished. Now He turned to the host who had invited Him to this gathering.
Jesus: When you host a dinner or banquet, don’t invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives, or your rich neighbors. If you do, they might invite you to a party of their own, and you’ll be repaid for your kindness. 13 Instead, invite the poor, the amputees, the cripples, the blind. 14 Then you’ll be blessed because they can never repay you. Your reward will come from God at the resurrection of the just and good.

Our family was blessed to be able to head out of town for the weekend recently.  One of the things that has become part of our rituals of preparation as we get ready to go, along with the packing up; checking to make sure the kids have their toothbrushes; everyone has their phone chargers; etc. is going through the refrigerator and getting rid of the leftovers and perishable food items that will be spoiled by the time we return.  

This is a bit embarrassing, I hate to waste food, and I certainly wish we were better at using all that we prepared and bought, and I think many of us could improve in this area, but until we do the least we can do is make sure that we don’t have a bunch of rotten food to come home too.  

I was thinking about the reality of having so much extra that some of it regularly goes bad, when I read this passage this morning and then I remembered a saying that I have heard somewhere – not something I invented, but I don’t know who to attribute it to either: ‘When you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence’.

So often in our world today, we think about ourselves first, and then we think about those that think, look, and act like us, and often – too often, we build walls to separate and keep out and divide everyone else.  

Bluntly, this is not the way of Jesus Christ.  Jesus calls us to Build a table as big as we can possibly imagine, bigger than we are probably comfortable with, then make it just a bit bigger.
Then, he calls us to start really getting uncomfortable by sending out the invitations, and here Jesus is challenges us to invite those that we would not normally associate with – those that vote differently than we do, that look different than we do, that think differently than we do, that even believe differently than we do.  Then, as we come together at table, we are reminded in the breaking of bread – a symbol of Jesus love and sacrifice for us, that his banner and claim over us is love, which is bigger and stronger than any difference.

Sharing God’s Love,

Prayer:  Lord, help us to build bigger tables, and give us the courage to invite and welcome those that are different than us. Amen.

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