“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
In this passage, Jesus continues his discussion on generosity, specifically in the area of hospitality. First among considerations when planning the perfect party needs to be the invite list. Normally when someone considers who to invite, the usual suspects immediately rise to the surface – friends, family or co-workers. The list might include those we feel obligated to invite, or those we’re trying to impress or ingratiate. As with many things, we tend to be motivated in our invite list to consider those who’s attendance might somehow benefit us – the old, “what’s in it for me?” factor.
But according to Jesus, the perfect invite list includes the socially outcast, those in Jesus’ day who were considered suffering externally for the sin in their lives. These were the people that NO ONE wanted at their party. What would it benefit the host? Think of the scandal!
Who would be on such a list?!!!
Well, we would. We were on God’s invite list when He planned out His future feast. He thought of us even when we were at our worst – broken, crooked, selfish and cruel. We have no way to repay God for the invitation that He has sent us. We can only accept and anticipate the celebration. And in the meantime, as we live and love like Jesus, that is the very attitude we are to have. Consider a generous life of hospitality to those who could never pay you back, a reminder of what He’s done for you. Consider it a model to others of His love. Consider it a party gift for the Lord of Hosts when you one day walk into His presence.
While using the HEAR method for the passage above, consider the following opportunities to invite the down and out to your party:
- This Sunday – Dollar on the Pew (bring a dollar or more for Good Samaritan’s annual gift to those in the community who need help this winter with their gas bill.)
- December 25 – Christmas Lunch for the Community – Help the Fire Department and Belmont serve and deliver meals to those in need around Calhoun. (at Belmont)
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Photo by Tim Cooper on Unsplash