A Wide Open Guest List

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S (Scripture): Luke 12:15 When one of the dinner guests heard Jesus’ remarks, he said to Jesus, “Happy are those who will feast in God’s kingdom.”

16 Jesus replied, “A certain man hosted a large dinner and invited many people. 17  When it was time for the dinner to begin, he sent his servant to tell the invited guests, ‘Come! The dinner is now ready.’ 18  One by one, they all began to make excuses. The first one told him, ‘I bought a farm and must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19  Another said, ‘I bought five teams of oxen, and I’m going to check on them. Please excuse me.’ 20  Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21  When he returned, the servant reported these excuses to his master. The master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go quickly to the city’s streets, the busy ones and the side streets, and bring the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.’ 22  The servant said, ‘Master, your instructions have been followed and there is still room.’ 23  The master said to the servant, ‘Go to the highways and back alleys and urge people to come in so that my house will be filled. 24  I tell you, not one of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

O (Observation): Dang! Crazy story. Sounds like the original guest list was full of folks who just didn’t care. And the folks who were invited at the last minute…maybe they should have been on the original invite list. Hmm…

A (Application): Honestly, I’ve been on both on all sides of this story. I’ve invited people. I’ve invited the wrong people. I’ve invited the outcast. I’ve been invited and blown it off. I’ve been left off of the invite list, and later on…invited.

Bring em all in! Every last one. And let’s see who appreciates the invite. I don’t care what kind of criticism we receive. Let’s just get everyone in here.

P (Prayer): Lord, give me clarity to follow your Spirit…not my own. Remind to open up that invitation list. Amen.

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1 Corinthians 13 – Its Not Just for Weddings

S (Scripture): 1 Coronthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

O (Observation):  Paul has been harping on the idea of Christian community.  He just finished up talking about how all members of the body of Christ are indeed ONE in the body of Christ.  They have great need of one another.   They are inextricably linked to one another.  They are to see one another as helpful in their own ways.  No one is more important.  No one is less useful. Each has a place, regardless of prior background (Jew, Gentile, Slave, Free, etc).   

A (Application): How is this type of community lived out? In a word: LOVE. Love is the hallmark of the Christian. One who receives grace and mercy and love extends the same to the world, especially in the Christian community. Others who look in on Christian community wish to see how differently the Christian realm is will hopefully see a community rooted in love.  

This text is used quite often in weddings.  I see nothing wrong with this use.   I simply take the opportunity today to remind us all that this text was originally meant for how we are to treat one another within the Christian community.   And maybe, by extension, how we might treat others in the world.   

So go ahead…use it at your wedding.   See how love roots you together to your loved one…but then also see how love roots us all together in community.   See love’s impact on the world around you!   And get ready for transformation.  

P (Prayer):  Lord, love is simple, but hard.  Help us to love.  Amen.