A message from Revd Lyn McRostie – November 2006

Posted by Admin on 29 October 2006, 12:00 am

In churches up and down the country there are special services to give thanks for the produce of the land and often a celebratory meal where we enjoy the blessings of Harvest in the company of others. Meals feature a lot in the Christian life. The heart of the Christian communion service is a symbolic shared meal. Many of the gospel stories are told around a table or during a meal and so often they reflect situations we know only too well. Have you ever struggled with a seating plan for a special meal? It’s a task which can bring even the most equable person to the brink of despair. In Luke’s Gospel we hear a story of the feast where people are competing for the best seats and Jesus asks them to reconsider their actions. The adults in this story are jostling for position. They all want the seat of honour and they forget that it is not theirs to claim; it is for the host to offer.

Some people resent that. They believe the best place is theirs by right. They cannot believe that people who are undeserving in worldly eyes may be given pride of place. It’s easy to hear the disapproval around us; the low achievers, those who don’t contribute economically, those who are a drain on public resources, those whose culture is different. Time and again the Gospel tells us that God’s criteria are different. God doesn’t measure us by where we were born, by what we earn or how we look, how well educated we are, how many people work for us. God’s generosity far surpasses our own. God’s assessment of quality is not based on economic value or hierarchy. God wants to include – not exclude. This simple story about seating arrangements asks us to think about the ordering of our common life, our local community, our nation, our international relationships, so that in all we do we express God’s hospitality. All that we have comes from the generosity of God, freely given. When we are treated so generously and graciously how can we turn to others and demand to know what they have done to earn the same?
Yours in Christ

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