Friday, January 4, 2013

The Place of Honor

7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14: 7-11)
The meal is always a metaphor, an image of the kingdom of God, where the best meats and the best wine is served. Jesus notices the Pharisees vying for position at the table, and this cannot work for the kingdom of God. It happens at feasts today that people take their places according to where they think they should. More often than not false displays of humility result not in being exalted but in one losing his rightful place at the table. But the kingdom of God is different. No one is worthy to come in, so no one has any right to exalt himself there. Not at the communion table, not in the church, not where matters of faith are concerned, and definitely will not be so in heaven. Here we are all given our places, and though they are honorable, they have not been earned.

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