Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Yes the truth is, Pastors mess up just like everyone else. Yesterday a man came to the church building wanting some food and a ride to Noblesville, a nearby town. Dad and I were both here, so dad gave him a little money so he could buy a dinner and I offered to give him a ride to Noblesville. We had about 15 minutes to talk. He appeared to have been a man beaten down by life, he had little to nothing, and was one who felt he was unaccepted everywhere he went. Sure, he may have been just looking for a handout, but his needs were real. As I dropped him off, a flood of thoughts started rushing my head. Why did you not give him you shirt?, why did you not take him home for dinner?, why did you not offer for him to stay at your place tonight? And a recurring answer kept coming up, he might harm me or my family. Pause and think of all the risks we take in life. Many of us took a huge risk by getting in our cars this morning. Some risks are more extreme, like bungee jumping, jumping out of a plane, mountain biking, etc., and some get a rush out of facing death in many of these things. The risk creates a rush, a joy. The point is, we are all going to die, and we all take risks that could lead to death. So why did I fear it yesterday, to the point that it kept me from inviting this guy to my house? Many of us might think it reckless to invite someone we don’t know, a stranger, particularly a homeless, poor, stranger into our homes. However, if I am going to take risks why not take them in areas that would show the love of Christ to the lost in stead of for personal gain or rushes? I think of Jim Elliot and the other men that took the gospel to cannibals. Where is my focus, on my personal contentedness, ease of life, joy? Or is it on the Glory of God, Being a light, and spreading God’s Kingdom? Yesterday I have to say if was closer to personal contentedness and joy. I feel more like I gave the guy a handout, rather than taking the opportunity to show him the love of Christ, and the acceptance of Christ.
Other Bible Verses for Reading: Luke 6:20-36, Luke 10:25-37