Armodoxy for Today
The Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:12-24) ends with the words, “For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.” And now, you find yourself sitting at the table, and the only reason you are here is because you’ve accepted the invitation. You’re at the Banquet which was referenced as “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” You’re blessed. You’re at the feast. And now let’s take a look around.
Up until now we’ve looked at others who have refused the invitation. The Armodoxy challenge is to put yourself in the Parable. It’s easy to look at the characters in a parable and see the fault of others, but the Christian is called to see him or herself in the parable dynamics. This placement is an exercise in self-evaluation. Hence, we find one of the important reasons for the season of Advent: to be prepared emotionally and spiritually to accept the Creator of the Universe in our midst. Christ is born and revealed, is the Christmas message.
You’re now at the Table. Take it further by asking yourself, in what ways have I answered the invitation to be seated? The true invitation is to the Kingdom of Heaven. God asks us – invites us – to value life, we value our cars, our homes, our business, to the point we put our children on hold while we go chasing material wealth. God asks us – invites us – to seek peace. We build bigger and better weapons. We eliminate options of working together to find harmony and find only ways of building borders and barriers. God asks us – invites us – to love one another and care for others. We say not everyone. We set our standards so that love is not unconditional.
In other words, the invite to the Banquet is an invite to the Kingdom of God. Responding to the invite is a chance for each of us to truly listen carefully to the answers of our heart.
The Parable is to share God’s love and God’s kingdom with everyone. Everyone has equal access. Today we sit at the Table and look around, thankful that we are here and increase our awareness of the love, tolerance, peace-seeking, life-loving, that has brought us here. God’s grace and mercy have given us access to this beautiful opportunity, tomorrow we’ll look at the price for sitting at this Table. It steep but its also a lot of fun.
Join me in prayer, All benevolent and almighty refuge and hope of the weak and the troubled, my Lord and my God, who created everything from nothingness. Draw closer to me with Your unspeakable mercy, for you show compassion to those who yearn for You and heal them through Your benevolence. Make me worthy of the Table of Immortality, to join in prayer those who adore You, for to You is befitting glory, dominion and honor, now and always, Amen.