Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:33
A pleasant young couple with many friends decided to have a fancy dinner party. The announcements arrived in plenty of time. The hosts were thrilled to share their home and this extravagant gourmet dinner. They spent hours scrubbing, polishing, shopping, chopping, sautéing, roasting, and decorating. There was no expense spared on the event. Fine cheeses, wine, multiple side dishes, succulent fruits, a beef Wellington that was as much a work of art as it was the main course. For desert there was crème brulee and a crowing tiramisu. Every thing was ready and it was exquisite, A lavish labor of love! At the last minute, one by one, the guests each began to call with their excuses.
The first one said, “We would love to come but our real estate agent called and told us that our loan was approved. We want to drive out to the house again and look in the windows to figure out where we’ll place our new furniture. You are such a darling to invite us but we’ll have to take a rain check.”
The second guest called and said ,“I just picked up my new Mazda miata (it’s loaded) I was planning to drive around tonight and see how it handles in traffic. It would be great to come to your party but I really want to try this thing out I‘m sure you can understand that. Talk to you later.”
The third couple called and said, “We were going to come but since we’re still sort of newlyweds we decided to stay home and watch a movie. Sorry we didn’t call you sooner I hope it‘s not a problem.”
The young couple gazed at all the gorgeous food they had worked so hard to prepare. They were sad and angry at their friend’s indifference Refusing to let the evening be ruined, they went out into the street in front of their townhouse and around the corner to the Jiffy Mart and invited all the homeless people who hung around by the dumpster. Many of them had special needs due to their extreme mental and physical disabilities. They brought them back to their home (which wasn’t an easy thing to do). Then they realized that there was still lots of room so they went out again . This time they went further down the street to the freeway bridge and encouraged everyone to come. Everyone was blessed.
After the party the couple reasoned that never again would they invite the first three guests because they were just “too self absorbed ” and not really good friends. Luke 14:13 explains “when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind.” not those who can pay you back.
The young couple’s busy friends were each focused on planning their own futures; a dream of a better house, a fancier car, or a new romance. The scripture continues to explain that neither father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, or even our own life should prevent us from following the example of Christ on the earth. We each must take risks of rejection (take up our cross) in humility. Count the cost of kingdom citizenship. It requires commitment !
Whose are you? What are the things you spend your time and energies on? What are the things which form your identity? What holds you back from taking bold action? Do you fear rejection, gossip, poverty, ridicule, or abandonment?
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Prayer: Rescuer of broken souls like mine, forgive me for false identities and tsocial status. May I not be defined by my possessions or not even by my family heritage. May I find my identity in your loving grace alone. I acknowledge my humanity and the common bond I have with those who are in need. May I share of myself and my resources with the “least of these“. Enlarge my circle of love. Amen
Action: Invite someone to dinner whom you might not normally invite because of their social class or infirmity. Or, spend some time talking to a homeless person this week and listen with an open heart to what they have to say. -Take a risk.