A Banquet of Care

When you attend social gatherings or events do you like the ones where you're filled with excitement because you're standing or sitting beside VIPs like politicians, celebrities, professional athletes, film and music stars? Or do you prefer the ones where your excitement comes from relaxing and having fun talking with people who are not concerned with who wields the most political influence or whoever is the most famous celebrity that everyone wants to be close to?

Whenever I have been to gatherings where famous people, socialites, or very wealthy people are attending, something odd happens to just about everyone, sometimes including me, when a wealthy entrepreneur, a widely known celebrity, or a political heavyweight walks in. Like human magnets, many of us begin to gravitate slowly and often clumsily over to where the famous person is, believing that if we can get close enough to them, him, or her, we just might get a selfie with them or talk to her, him, or them briefly and maybe strike a good rapport and possibly be remembered. Then perhaps if we attend another event together, we may be able to talk with them again and just might, by chance, establish a casual relationship and acquire a little social shine from that famous person that could lift us up and out of the daily grind that many of us experience from day to day and into a more exciting and glamorous lifestyle as a satellite of their social planet.

I believe that good times can be had with either kind of gathering. I have talked to a few VIPs at events and have heard them say, in unguarded moments, that some of the best times that they've had at social, political, or charitable events were those that were not weighed down by the posturing that so often accompanies the frenzy when people attend functions that have several celebrities or dignitaries of one form or another in attendance too. I think there's something to that type of gathering that is filled with grace.

We can see God's grace and care for everyone equally in the Bible reading for this week from Luke 14:1, 7-14. Pay close attention to what Jesus said, "For all who exult themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exulted."

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