When my husband and I were getting married, I spent an inordinate amount of time arranging a seating chart for our friends and family. I sat hunched over a copy of the guest list and a copy of Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette. I fretted over how to arrange the guests in such a way that they would have good conversation and not get their feelings hurt if they were not seated close to us at the head table – aka, “the places of honor” as Jesus calls them. After reading our Gospel text from Luke for Sunday, it seems that God’s Seating Chart differs from Emily Post!
Invited and inviting—that is the nature of the church. By God’s grace in holy baptism we have a place at Christ’s banquet table. When, by the power of that same Spirit, humility and mutual love continue among us, the church can be more inviting still. In the gospel text from Luke, Jesus lifts up the humility required to take the lowest seat at the table, invites his followers to practice hospitality for people who cannot repay, and calls us to embody the kind of radical-yet-relational love of Jesus himself. This radical love is taught by both individuals and congregations. This Sunday, as we install Jamie Taylor and Lucy Comstock to our church staff (at both 9AM & 11AM), we are reminded that congregations by their practices of generosity and compassion, humility and hospitality embody the love of Jesus in their communities. Join us as we welcome them with the hospitality of Christ and invite them to work with us as his humble servants!