On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?” But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?” And they could not reply to this.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:1-11
The fancy table settings glisten
aroma, sight and sound are perfect
everyone dressing in silver and gold
there is power here but no honor.
Some paper plates and rusty cups
frigid water from a nearby stream
coffee boiled over and over
this rustic place of honor.
The handshakes are firm convincing
the place cards elegant the service silent
a thousand proud and haughty guests
scrambling for yet a better place.
Our thrones are rocks and logs
others move to make the circle rounder
we live our lives for the giveaway
aching to serve through the night.
The Divine is welcomed at both
some places the Holy is not invited to stay
say and prayer and be done with it
the Creator of life sent back to the kitchen.
We will make room on our mats and blankets
share the bread of our toil and the wine of our labor
may God find a home with us this day
and may we find God in our midst at the last.