The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Stephanie Beckford. Stephanie has been part of the St Mary's family for about 13 years. She is an Inviting Monster for the Life Course and is involved with serving the homeless and hosting Pamper Evenings at Bakhita House where women are trafficked in the sex trade. She enjoys ballroom dancing, cooking and baking.

Luke 14:15-24

The Parable of the Great Banquet

15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."

16 Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'

18 "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.'

19 "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'

20 "Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can't come.'

21 "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.'

22 "'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'

23 "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'"

Reflection

Drop the excuses and join God's Feast!

When I was asked to write this devotional, my reaction was "I don't have time to write it because I'm too busy". But thought better of it after reading the passage because I was about to make the same lame excuse as the guests who were invited to this banquet.

The invitations to the banquet had been sent out well in advance but on the appointed day when all the preparation was ready for the invited guests to come and feast on the magnificent array of foods that had been carefully chosen and prepared for their enjoyment they all alike began to make excuses.

Having a relationship with God is like the great banquet. God has provided and prepared everything freely in advance through His son Jesus for us to (1) accept the invitation (2) enter the great banquet and feast and satisfy our every need. So why don't we accept the invitation? What are the lame excuses we are making that are preventing us entering a deeper relationship with God? (1) Pride - we think we are not worthy? (2) Lies we are believing that we will never measure up. (3) Lack of trust and faith? Or (4) something else?

I enjoy ballroom dancing and whilst I struggle to learn the difficult routines, I hardly practice and therefore I find myself not progressing much. I am often frustrated with myself to the point of wanting to give up. But I keep going and creating a more fulfilling experience whether my dancing is perfect or not.

So, let's commit to asking the tough question of what is limiting our banquet with God? Together, let's cast our excuses aside, accept his invitation and come, sit at the table and enjoy the feast.

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