Seeking the Low Spot
a parable and some practice
This weekend's Gospel passage begins with a parable.
Parables are a bit tricky to understand. I'll get into it on Sunday, but here are some advance questions to help you figure out what Jesus is talking about:
The scene is a wedding banquet - where else does Jesus use this image and what does he use it to convey?
The guests are jockeying for position - who might these folks be and what is wrong with what they're doing?
"A more distinguished guest" arrives, dislodging one who is already seated - who might these characters represent?
The more I think about this parable, the more excited I get. Reply to this email if you'd like to let me know what you think Jesus is up to here.
The next part of the passage doesn't seem like great advice - invite people to parties who can't repay you - but it is Good News.
The question is why do we do the things we do? If we invite people to parties who will return the favor, then why do we invite them? Is it to give or to get?
This all makes me think of a great quote from Francis Chan. His book, "Crazy Love," is a great little read.
Ultimately, being invited to parties doesn't really matter. Being esteemed among men doesn't really matter. Having others owe you doesn't really matter.
What matters is being loved by God and loving him in return. What matters is embodying his generous love for others. That's what we were made for, and it's what we most deeply desire.
The Good News is that Jesus makes it possible. His spirit - his life and love at work in us and through us - makes it possible.
δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ