Worst Dinner Party Ever!
me tell you, it was the worst dinner
was this guy there…
This guy! He had no manners…
he acted like he was raised in a
or at least born in one.
He was unconcerned with how he made
all of us feel, he didn’t know the right fork to use for each course…
he coarsely called in a stray man from the street,
called out the guests for our seating arrangements
called out the host for his guest list.
Then he all but disinvited us to the cosmic banquet…
Let us pray.
I said, no manners, this man.
of us knew Jesus could be trouble, he’d picked arguments before about the
Sabbath at meals, and last night was no exception.
were all just finished milling about and had begun to recline
—the appetizers had just arrived,
Jalapeno Poppers and IKEA style Meatballs… the poppers were good,
the meatballs… not good, but addicting… I don’t’ know how they do that…
out of no where, a man, malformed bulging watery hands and feet—they looked
like fleshy water balloons…
He fell down beside Jesus, right there as I was popping another
Meatball into my mouth!
Jesus picked his usual fight with the other Pharisees, “if it is permissible on
the Sabbath to act to save little things, children and animals—shouldn’t it be
permissible to heal this man with Dropsy?”
mean, who brings something like that up
as a dinner conversation?
For that matter, who brings such an
uninvited, unappetizing visitor into the midst of someone else’s soiree?
healed the man, gross sounds of water giving way and…
all of that…
really took down the ambiance a notch!
things kinda settled down,
we finished the first course, and
soon enough the unpleasantness with the healing and argument was forgotten.
the main course, Salmon and Chicken Parm with grilled green beans sopped in
butter, slid onto our tables… he was at it again… this Jesus.
slid off his couch and came to the center of the room
—the table I was at, in fact! (Not to brag or anything)
he asked us if we’d read Proverbs.
of course said yes, so he responded:
“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.”
I suppose that is A reading of Proverbs 25, though I’d
point out that was about being at a king’s court, not applicable at ALL! to our situation if you ask me.
I, of course,
understand humility is important…
in fact, I’m probably the most humble person I know and you’ll ever meet!
to get right in our faces
—the faces of us in the good seats,
the rightful center of attention,
it’s embarrassing, that carpenter calling
to task his betters…
would have been bad enough, but then he
blindsided the host:
“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. But when you give a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be
blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the
resurrection of the righteous.”
Jesus—like that’s practical…
point of get togethers it to get one over on someone else…
the live wire of influence and flaunt what you got so you can get some more.
eating chicken last night, we were eating each other and washing it down with
quid pro quo… that’s life man!
Not even the extremely religious at the
table were buying what Jesus was selling, one of those desert dwellers quoted
from Qumran saying, “No man with a physical handicap—crippled, lame, blind,
deaf, dumb, blemished, or a doddering old man,” can eat with us.
all, how would this kind of hospitality Jesus was talking about work?
think of all the logistical things a host would have to do!
They’d have to be a saint wouldn’t they?
for no repayment? Madness!
Speaking of madness, think of how his
two commandments here about eating together sort of
circuit each other,
or at least
make everything all backwards.
everyone is a beggar, who gets the central seat?
to be honored if everyone who is dishonored by our society is invited in?
Imagine what it would be like
by people who all know they are vulnerable,
got in through no fault of their own,
because feeding people is what happens at a meal!
a bountiful meal provided by a gracious host!
Sickening, am I right?
Well, we talked Jesus down and got back
to the business of polishing off our main course. Belts were loosened, belches
were shared, and in came the dessert! Tiramisu and Cheesecake,
cleansing our minds of Jesus’ insult…
Alas, there was a third course of Jesus at this meal too.
him off about the “Kingdom of God” and he told this story about all the
self-assured people like us being invited to a banquet, and all RSVPing NO!
second time he went on about “the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame” …
It’s like an obsession with him or something…
and he told
us that they all were invited, since the first flight of people
Then even strangers were brought to that
filled up with all those undesirables,
was his kicker,
all of us
who said no on the RSVPs were
The gall of that man. I was so offended
I couldn’t even finish my Tiramisu.
He allows in an uninvited, unappetizing, visitor for the
insults both the guest and the host during the main course,
and suggests we will receive our just desserts during dessert.
As I said before, “Worst Dinner Party Ever!”