Theme: Enacted Community
Scripture: Luke 7: 36 – 52, Acts 2: 42 – 47
We gathered around the table at Simon’s house and explore how Jesus defines hospitality as love over formality. We considered the lavish welcome of the uninvited ‘sinful woman,’ emphasising the scandalous guest list once again. Simon was someone who should have known the simple principles of hospitality and yet he didn’t extend them to Jesus and if he couldn’t show hospitality to him, then there was no way that he’d show hospitality to the woman. Yet, as Jesus points out, the issue here is not principally how they are relating to each other. Jesus says by his parable that if they knew forgiveness and mercy in him, then they’d begin to see the need each other had, and that would be the basis of community.
We too can be quick to see the faults in others, always willing to make judgements and point a finger, but we must remember that the grace that initiates our relationship with Jesus is the same grace we need to show to sustain healthy community. This is all the more important if we are looking to welcome people who do not yet know Jesus.
The challenge for the Christian community is to come around the table as those who need to give and receive grace, only then can true community happen. Who do we need to sit around the table with?
For further reflection
Explore Acts 4: 32 – 37. How did the disciples develop their new community and what can we learn today from their example?