How to Act in the Lunchroom- "Back to School"

How to Act in the Lunchroom
8-1-21                 Sermon Notes                  “How to Act in the Lunchroom”
Ready or not, “back-to-school” season is upon us. Whether you are a student or a teacher, a parent, grandparent, or none of the above – please pray for the beginning of this school year.  Especially now, when we are unsure how the latest Covid surge will affect us…prayers are appreciated! 
Back to School is going to be our new sermon theme for August.  We are going to be spending time in the Gospel of Luke. (Join me on Wednesdays for Bible Study if you want to dig even deeper)  This week, we will be in chapter 14…
14 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.
7 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8 “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; 9 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. 10 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. 11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”   (Luke 14: 1, 7-14 NRSV)
Did you know that Luke’s gospel has more “meal-time” scenes than all the other gospels?  It’s like Luke is reminding us that life in the kingdom of God is like…a party!  A festive meal!  Not everyone who comes to the meal has pure motives.  The Pharisees are there to spy on Jesus.  Some refuse to come into the party at all, standing outside pouting (the elder brother in the Prodigal Son story). But if we do come to the table together, there are some rules.  The parable Jesus tells in vv. 7-14 might seem more like social advice than an actual parable.  But it is more than advice.  It is a reminder…and a warning…that we don’t need to jostle for position in the eyes of God.  Those who push themselves to the front will end up the caboose. 
I hope you will join us at the Table this Sunday, as we share Holy Communion and be reminded how to act in the “lunchroom.”
Grace and peace,
Pastor Sam

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