I've paused in response to a challenge by Tom Wright @ the conclusion of this mornings gospel reflection - Luke 14:1-24. It's an important challenge, as were his reminders that the Christian life could be seen not only as a "journey" but also as "a party." A good friend had an "eschatalogical BBQ party" in winter (southern hemisphere) to celebrate God's presence and healing over what at times had been a very dark twelve months. Sometime for many the Christian life feels like a heavy burden, about living a colourless, diminished, narrow life, SO a reminder that the the Christian life is also a party is a good one. What if a party, an "eschatalogical BBQ party if you will, was a closer approximation of God's kingdom? Think how many times in the gospels Jesus talks of, or is at parties, meals, and celebrations...?
Anyway, back to the challenge Tom left his readers with. For me it resonates with an earlier post here:
"...The party to which the original guests were invited was Jesus' kingdom-movement, his remarkable welcome to all in sundry. If people wanted to be included in Jesus' movement, this is the sort of thing they were joining. Once again, therefore, the challenge comes to us today. Christians, reading this anywhere in the world, must work out in their own churches and families what it would mean to celebrate God's kingdom so that the people at the bottom of the pile, at the end of the line, would find it to be good news. It isn't encough to say that we ourselves are the people dragged in from the country lanes, to our suprise, to enjoy God's party. That may be true; but party guests are then expected to become party hosts in their turn..."