I didn’t sleep solidly last night. Blocked ears. I woke to the sound of my own heartbeat, a ringing noise in my head, and the perception of claustrophobia. Relaxed I was not.
One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.” But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my apologies.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my apologies.” Another said, “I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.” So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” And the slave said, “Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” Then the master said to the slave, “Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.” ‘ Luke 14:15-24
Made me think how much I take my beating heart for granted. And that when it intrudes on my consciousness it is a distraction.
Just like this well-known parable: great dinner … yada yada … appointed time … yada yada … excuses excuses … master angry … yada yada … outcasts invited … invitees’ outcast …. Don’t be a Pharisee – be a good Christian – get to heaven when I die – you know it makes sense.
And I get a buzzing in my head. An awareness of taking for granted this taught learning for so many years. And the buzzing focuses on a few words … “At the time for the dinner“
Why is this time always when I die (or when Jesus comes back again)? Why is it always in the future (and over the horizon)?
I have dinner every day. I have breakfast every day. I even have lunch every day. And leave aside the “political finger pointing” of “half the world is hungry” … These verses were directed at those who ate much as I eat now. And – just like them – dinner time for me is not over the horizon or in the future – it is now and it is today (and tomorrow and the day after that).
But there is many a time I get a call for dinner and shout back “in a minute” because I need to finish this or that or the other. I am busy chap you know.
That still small voice has a lot of noise to penetrate. A voice I take for granted to be there and waiting when I want to connect. But a voice that distracts when it intrudes on my normal busy living stuff.
And this morning I wonder why I accept all the “over the horizon (and in the future)” teaching stuff so readily.
Maybe it’s because I prefer to take so much for granted. It’s easier that way.
And might that make me more “invitees’ outcast” than I like to admit?