Aug 28, 2022 |
This Heavenly Banquet| The Rev. Melanie W. J. Slane
This Heavenly Banquet
In our gospel lesson for today, Jesus invites us to a dinner party that probably looked sort of similar to that. Spices piled high, colors and rosewater tea, spiced meats and heaping piles of baklava. We're invited to imagine ourselves there. In the first part of the lesson, as a guest. And in the second half, as the host. In each instance Jesus giving us direction by parable of how we ought to behave at a wedding feast, at a dinner party. If you're just catching on, wedding feast is gospel code for the heavenly banquet. As guests in the parable, we are told to take a seat at the lowest place. If you've been to big family gatherings at Thanksgiving, this spot is marked: Kids Table. That's the spot for you. Where it's loud and messy. And you're likely to have something thrown at you or spilled all over you. We are not, as Jesus says, to take our place and the head of the table. This is the spot right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy. That's not our spot, Jesus says. Unless we are invited to sit there. It would be pretty bad if you went and sat at the head of the table and then were asked to go over and sit by that weird Jello pudding thing that Aunt Mildred brought. Because then you feel ashamed and disgraced. In the first part of this parable, we are there as the guests. And Jesus says to us, know your place. And assume when you arrive that you are seated below the salt, as they say.