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Rules for Hosts

Daily Reading: Luke 14

Scripture Focus: “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14.12-14)

Devotional Thought: When time permits (all too seldom in our busy schedules!) Lana and I love to have guests over for Sunday lunch. Our favorite menu is homemade lasagna and fresh-baked bread. Do you enjoy entertaining around the dinner table?

The following outline in Beacon Bible Commentary (p 549) is shared as "Rules for Hosts" (BBC 549). I've added my own thoughts to these simple rules:

Shrink your guest list: "Do not invite..." It is so easy to get focused on a few people that we like and that are like us. Entertaining our family and friends is more comfortable and holds promise for more good times in the future. Jesus isn't saying that we should not do that, but that we should not do that exclusively. We need to make space in our lives for those who cannot repay us in kind. After all, Jesus left the familiar scenes of heaven to come to us!

Expand your guest list: "Invite the poor..." God has always been mindful of the poor, neglected segments of society. Poverty is defined by more than a lack of material goods. Some people may be poor in spirit - reach out to them. Some may be poor in friends - reach out to them. Some may be poor in social graces - reach out to them. I like the example of Jesus. He went to sinners, outcasts, despised, and lonely people.

Let God reward you: "You will be repaid at the resurrection..." Remember that we ourselves have been invited to an eternal banquet! We need not be repaid in earthly banquets. When we invite the poor, the stranger, the lonely to our tables, God invites us to his.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your example of grace when you reached out to us. Help us to be like you and reach out to others who are not like us - to give them space in our lives and hearts. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. 19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalms 139:17-24)

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