Denise Day Spencer

February 4, 2008

Holy Week drama: the dinner hostess

Filed under: Creative Ministries — denisedayspencer @ 8:20 pm

By Denise Day Spencer

NARRATOR: One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. *

HANNAH: I wasn’t sure why my husband invited Jesus to dinner. Simon was a Pharisee, and the Pharisees were having problems with Jesus. I could tell Simon thought Jesus was potentially dangerous, and yet he was intrigued by him. You see, the Pharisees were doing their best to preserve our nation. We were the chosen ones, God’s people. We had to be different from all the nations around us. But Jesus had a way of turning their teachings upside-down every time.

Our dinner party was no exception. Jesus did one of the things he always did best: he told a story. (clears throat) A certain man prepared a great banquet and invited many guests. When it was time to eat, he sent his servant to tell the guests (ringing a dinner bell) “Dinner’s ready!” But even though they’d already been invited, they began to make excuses.

The first said, “I’ve just bought a field, and I need to go see it.” Another said, I’ve just bought five oxen, and I have to try them out.” Still another said, “I can’t come because I just got married.”

Oh, please. They knew about the banquet. They had sent in their RSVPs. And now this. Well, the host became very angry. He told the servant, “Bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame! They shall eat with me tonight! Not a single one of those men who were invited will get even a taste of my banquet!” **

Does that sound harsh? Listen. I’m a woman. I cook. If I had fixed that much food for all those people and then they refused to come, they would never again get an invitation to my table!

But don’t miss the point. The chosen ones ended up being the rejected ones. Why? Because they refused to come. This was a warning. (JESUS enters, far side) Even though we were God’s chosen people, we would be rejected by Him if we refused His banquet.

JESUS: (holding up loaf of bread) My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…(breaking bread) I am the bread of life…But you have seen me, and still you do not believe. ***

HANNAH: It’s still true today. He invites you to His table of grace. (as JESUS holds out bread) Will you come?


* Luke 14:1
** from Luke 14:16-24
*** John 6:32b-36


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