NOTE: I am on a “retirement/anniversary” trip and will be out until late September. In the meantime, I’m sharing recycled DayBreaks for 2010. Thanks for your understanding!
From the DayBreaks archive, September 2010:
Barbara Brown Taylor, in Christian Century, created a word picture of Jesus at a feast. Sometimes we have a hard time identifying with Biblical stories because they occurred in a time and place that is quite remote and distant to us. The cultures were different, customs were different. And it makes it hard for us to really grasp the dynamics of what was taking place. So, I appreciated this prose picture that forced me to see the story of Jesus at this feast in a new and more modern light:
“So if I were putting together a sinners table at the Huddle House, it might include an abortion doctor, a child molester, an arms dealer, a garbage collector, a young man with AIDS, a Laotian chicken plucker, a teenage crack addict, and an unmarried woman on welfare with five children by three different fathers. Did I miss anyone? Don’t forget to put Jesus at the head of the table, asking the young man to hand him a roll, please, and offering the doctor a second cup of coffee before she goes back to work.
“If that offends you even a little, then you are almost ready for what happens next. Because what happens next is that the local ministerial association comes into the restaurant and sits down at a large table across from the sinners. The religious authorities all have good teeth and there is no dirt under their fingernails. When their food comes, they hold hands to pray. They are all perfectly nice people, but they can hardly eat their hamburger steaks for staring at the strange crowd in the far booth.
“The chicken plucker is still wearing her white hair net, and the garbage collector smells like spoiled meat. The addict cannot seem to find his mouth with his spoon. But none of those is the heartbreaker. The heartbreaker is Jesus, sitting there as if everything were just fine. Doesn’t he know what kind of message he is sending? Who is going to believe he speaks for God if he does not keep better company than that? I saw them eating and I knew who they were.”
Galen’s Thoughts: the people at that table were you and I. We are all like those who sat at the table with Jesus. And like them, we need His mercy and grace just as much, if not more. I can’t help but wonder at which table we would have chosen to sit – with Jesus and the outcasts, or with the local ministerial association across the room.
PRAYER: Help your word to come alive to us today so we can see ourselves in every page and learn what it is that you want us to become! In Jesus’ name, Amen.Copyright 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>