When you host a banquet, invite those who are poor, maimed, lame, or blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. (Luke 14:13-14)
If you were to drive by my house, you’d likely take a second glance at all the life whirling around in the middle of what some would call the badlands. A dozen boys are shooting hoops in the side yard while three girls are eating animal crackers and drinking lemonade at the picnic table in the front yard. Two boys are swinging from the horse swing dangling from the oak tree while four more jump on the trampoline. My second oldest is in the kitchen baking brownies to share when the animal crackers are gone.
Our family lives in an impoverished part of town where mamas work odd jobs and daddies are absent from homes and hunger is as real as the drugs being pushed down the street. You could probably call our home a community center because our home is the hub of neighborhood activity. The yard and everything in it belongs to every one of us and every one of us comes to the table as equally needy family members.
But this gathering around the table as a family didn’t happen overnight. It has taken five years of living among those on the margins of life and intentionally choosing to invite the poor, the addict, and the abused to our table. It has taken five years of standing in a lowly place in our city for us to find our place here. And it has taken five years of continually opening our hands wide enough to let the superabundance of kingdom resources flow through our fingers for God to remind us that we simply get to steward what He graciously gives us.
Jesus promises that our hospitality to the poor will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
But friends, we can reap the blessings now. Let’s open our homes and invite the poor to our tables.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. Just an open door. A friendly wave. And an invitation to come in. Let’s invite someone into our lives today and share a simple meal around a table together.