Luke 14:4-14 Move’n On Up JUMC 09292010 Hospitality

Luke 14:4-14   Move’n On Up   JUMC 09292010   Hospitality

7 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8‘When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, “Give this person your place”, and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher”; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

12 He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ -NRSV

The whole time my grand parents kept house and ran a large farm in Johnson County, near Oconee, GA. (Jackson, to Monticello, to Milledgeville, to Tombsboro, to Charlie and Ruby’s place. All the siblings, spouses and grand children would make pilgrimage for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Ruby’s birthday, and the first watermelons.  In their dinning room there was a long table that would seat ten. Charlie and Ruby on each end; their four children and spouses on the sides and the rest of us would grab for seats in the living room. I never got to sit at the groan up table until after my grandfather died, my uncle was out of town, my cousin was out of the country and I brought Wendy to meet Ruby and get to meet the family. In forty years I only got to sit at the big table once..

Wendy and I have an ongoing competition with two of our life goals. I would like to eat dinner at the White House. (Not a sack lunch)  She wants to play August National. We both agree I will get my dinner before she gets her round of golf.

My brother and I were typical boys, when it came to keeping our shared bathroom straighten. Our parents were having an important dinner party at the house and she left us a note on the hand towels in the hall bathroom we used. The note read, “keep your nasty hands off the good towels.”  No one removed the note before the party, and no one used the towels either.

The text today is about who we invite to be included in our social community. At issue is the idea of where our place is in the community.

There was a time when the church was at the center of the community.

The center moved over time to schools,

And today the center of community is dependant on which community we refer.

(We can now be in multiple communities at the same time, real and virtual.)

At issue in the text is which community is central in our living.

(Based on GA estimations) For nearly half our county, church is not even on the radar of daily life. For over 40% church is one of many things we do when we can fit it in our other communities. For about 7% church is the center and others compete

Q: Does that mean we have to live at the church every day?   No!

Q: Does that mean we think about whose not yet in our community every day?   Yes!!

What are our requirements for becoming a part of this church community?

How old do you have to be?

Do you have to live in the county?

Do you have to have a certain degree of education?

Do you have to make a certain amount of money?

Do you have to give a certain amount of money?

Do you have to wear certain clothes?

Do you have to have certain preferences about the style of worship?

No, no, no, no, no, no, no…

as long as you think like I think, act like I expect, and don’t upset what I am comfortable with.

With 11 season of George and Louise Jefferson we heard the theme songs:

Well we’re movin on up, To the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up, To the east side. We finally got a piece of the pie.

Fish don’t fry in the kitchen; Beans don’t burn on the grill.
Took a whole lotta tryin’ Just to get up that hill.
Now we’re up in teh big leagues Gettin’ our turn at bat.
As long as we live, it’s you and me baby There ain’t nothin wrong with that.

Well we’re movin on up, To the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky.
Movin on up,  To the east side. We finally got a piece of the pie.

— The struggle is how to see beyond politics, economics, and difference and indifference….to hear the words of Jesus.

It is a bold thing that Jesus turns to the host of the dinner party and points out who they did not invite.

There are four groups of people who get invited to the a wedding. (some over lap)

1)  friends and relatives you want to be with you

2)  friends, relatives and strangers you feel like you have to invite

3)  folks who you don’t want to want to invite but know they give good gifts

4)  folks you owe and invite because they have invited you.

Jesus invites us to change our guest lists about who is “IN”cluded in our lives…

1)  Folks we had not planned to invite

2)  Folks who can’t repay the invitation

3)  Folks who aren’t necessarily friends or relatives

4)  Folks who Christ would include, who might not be on our list.

Move someone up,

Q: How?

A: By stepping aside and inviting them in for Jesus Christ.

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