Friday, December 19, 2014

Luke 14:16-24 -- On Committing to God's Supper

"Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."
Luke 14:16-24

This is an interesting parable, and on the surface, it is kind of hard to understand.  The excuses seem to be good ones, and it is just a dinner party, right?  But this particular dinner party is symbolic of God's kingdom, and our commitment to it.
We come up with a lot of excuses to not serve God after we have already committed to do so.  Things come up, stuff happens, and we need to do this or that instead, right?  Except, God comes FIRST.  Sometimes we think family comes first, and of course we shouldn't use God as an excuse to shirk our responsibilities in other areas, and we shouldn't over-commit ourselves to church things in order to avoid other parts of life... but when there are sincere and serious conflicts, God comes first, before parents, siblings, romantic relationships, school, work, hobbies... sleep. :)  Nothing else can come first, and if we commit to go to his supper, we need to show up, whether we bought oxen or got married, or anything else at all.  Our commitment to God can't be casual or light.  We can't think "well, we can skip it if something comes up."  Something will always come up.  There will always be an excuse.  But God matters more than all of them.
Today, when we are tempted to bail on our commitment to God for whatever reason, let's remember that there IS no reason good enough.  God is at the top of the priority list, ahead of all else.  Let's make sure that he stays that way in our minds and hearts and actions.  The Supper will be worth it, but we can't realize that until we show up.

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