Lent Devotions: Day 18
Day 18 Read: Luke 14:12-24
Who Will You Invite?
Come; for everything is ready.” (v. 17)
My favorite parts of family gatherings are the meals. Thanksgiving feasts with all the fixings, Christmas buffets of sweets and snacks, three-course Sunday dinners: delicious! I was raised in a home where hospitality always involved food. Having company, whether friends or family, meant making a big “to-do” of it, and this is still how I play host.
Because I love hosting, I find the Parable of the Great Dinner compelling. The parable asks, who should you invite to your table? “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you” (v. 13-14). If I will get something back for my efforts, then this isn’t really a kingdom feast; only when I invite those who can’t repay me do I “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:19).
Lent, however, is rarely a feast. If anything, Lent is a season of fasting, of giving up something. But this parable reminds us that the kingdom is like a man throwing a banquet, even during Lent. Hear today the Master’s invitation: “Come; for everything is ready” (v.17), and accept his invitation to experience Lent as a table shared with “the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,” and in this sharing, dare to discover yourself as one of them, truly in need of the Lord’s gracious hospitality and entirely unable to repay him.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, host us at your table this Lent, and let us see your other guests clearly.