Weddings, Social Politics, and Seating Charts

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Do you care where you sit?

7Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit in 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 table with you. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 14:7-11

What was obvious to Jesus is also obvious to others. When we are eager for respect, honour, position, status, we will climb over others to get into the seat of honour. Those who demand honour cannot calibrate the mind of a greater host. We are at the mercy of the host; to act otherwise is to show our smallness, pettiness, jealousy, vanity, and fear.

Jesus’ words here are not just wisdom for endearing ourselves to others by refusing to manipulate social politics for personal gain. Jesus is showing us the basic internal posture of kingdom citizens. His Kingdom citizens entrust themselves to the Host of the Great Wedding Feast. We are His servants, invited to His party, and He decides how, when, where, and why to exalt us.

Humility is a choice. It only becomes unconscious and part of our character when we are glad to be at the party with Jesus and anyone else He has included. Humility becomes our character as we are extraordinarily confident and secure in the Father’s love and acceptance of us through Christ Jesus our Lord. Then it doesn’t matter where we sit.

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