Sunday, October 12, 2008
"So they gathered all the people they could find...and filled the wedding hall with guests." Matthew 22:10
We've spent the last few days at my mother's house by the ocean. She lives in a very small town, which has less than 250 year round residents- a hearty and lively bunch. Although many of them are elderly, they keep busy in the community and beyond. Last night the fire company hosted a spaghetti dinner. The younger men move out the trucks and the older men set up the engine bay with tables.They all participate in cooking and waiting on tables. It's a boisterous,friendly time and people are buzzing around, checking in with one another, teasing and cracking jokes. Some families take up whole tables and others share their tables with strangers and neighbors. It's an inexpensive and wonderful time. The kind of event that happens in lots of small towns across the country. Time when people celebrate life and enjoy one another.
On the walk home, the sun was setting. Magnificent colors, pinks swiped against deep corals and blues, moving fast into darkness. We tried to make it up to the beach to see the sun actually setting, but it was too fast for us. But we marveled and enjoyed every moment of color and spectacle we could. How easy it would have been for us to miss these simple moments of life. It would have been easier to stay home, to keep our six dollars per person, and stay inside the warmth and comfort of her home. My mother's walk is challenged now, and she has to use a cane, so it would have been easier to linger in the safety of home. And yet, we would have missed one of the nicest Saturdays in recent history, and overlooked the beauty of the setting sun.
God invites us daily to a banquet, and we often linger in safety, keep our money and stay home. Too often, we daily miss the splendid displays of beauty and laughter that are in store for us. Those of us who have been hurt or wounded, those who have great challenges, we all are tempted to stay home in the confines of what we can manage. Despite all of the challenges, may we have strength on this Sabbath day to hurry to the banquet hall, knowing that all the pain that prevent us is much less than they joys we will share. May we leap at the chance to share a meal with others, even when our muscles ache and our hearts have been broken, knowing we will be fed more than we have lost. May we all answer the invitation to love again, knowing that God's abundant love goes ever before us, paving the way and making the crooked paths straight and the surface safe for even the most feeble among us.