Celebration of Hope: Day 9

Invited 

Read Luke 14:12–14
 
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.”
 
Reflect
 
What a challenge Jesus offers here! Isn’t this precisely what we do? We invite friends, brothers and sisters, relatives, and neighbors to our homes, rarely reaching beyond our immediate relational circles. Of course, this isn’t immoral or bad in and of itself. Jesus is making a point: be generous to those who don’t have enough. Include those who are excluded. Welcome those who couldn’t extend you a similar courtesy. Plus, imagine the rich conversation that could happen if you were to gather a diverse group of people around the same table! Imagine all the ways you might see God at work! Imagine what you might learn and experience when new perspectives are shared! 

 

  • As you read this passage, what objections immediately come to mind for you? What opportunities might exist for you to do what Jesus says? What fears arise in you as you consider a lunch or dinner like the one Jesus mentions?
     
  • Take a moment and reflect on who you would invite to a lunch or dinner like the one Jesus mentions. Who comes to mind? What would the meal conversation look like? What’s one step you could take toward having a meal with someone who “cannot repay you”? 
     
  • Each time you eat a meal or a snack today, say a prayer for those in the world who don’t have enough to eat. To make your prayer more specific, pick a country or location where people are suffering with hunger and pray specifically for the children in that place. 

Respond
 
Father, thank You for opening my eyes to those around me and giving me a vision for what a meal with those who are suffering or who are different than me might look like. Grant me the faith and the courage to reach out, to go beyond my usual circles and comfort to invite the excluded or those who cannot repay with a dinner in kind. Grow my generosity so that these invitations become more and more common. Bless those who are hungry today. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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