Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Great Banquet

There is a story, a parable in Luke that goes like this….  
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'
"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'
"Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'
"Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'
"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'
" 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'
"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "(Luke 14: 15-24)

Today I am heading to a retreat that has the name of The Great Banquet.  I will be tucking myself away from the business of the world for a few days with a group of other women as we all seek God.  Spending these moments in worship, learning, and quiet – I am looking forward to the time. 

Driving home from work tonight, I noticed the lights in the windows.  It is getting darker so much earlier and it makes the lights stand out.  I love the look of lights behind curtains or a framed window, softly shining out and glowing into the yard.  It is easy to imagine families gathering around tables, chairs scooting up to the table, calling for that last straggling family member.  But, how many of those meals are interrupted by those who are torn away from the table by the business of daily life?  The phone rings, the new show is on, going to go see a friend, work, errands, commitments….

Imagine that God is sitting at that table, how often do we push away from the table, away from God because of the urgent rather than spending time with the important?  This weekend, I am deciding to pull up to the table and partake in the banquet.