Lent Log Day 5: Feasts

Luke chapter 15 contains the well known parables of lost things – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. I always thought these parables were about how God seeks after us and finds us even when we are lost, but in my New Testament class last week (and in last Sunday’s sermon at TCC), I was shown that each story also ends with the theme of celebration. The shepherd calls his friends and neighbors together to celebrate finding the one sheep, the woman does the same for the coin, and the Father throws a big party when his son returns home. The message of the parable is clear for the Pharisees and scribes (Jesus is telling this parable to them, see Luke 15:1-2)  – don’t grumble about the ‘unrighteous’ who are found by God. Don’t be like the older son, indignant that those who did right all their lives were not getting any special treatment but the “prodigal son” (note that Luke doesn’t use the word prodigal – that’s just the editorial heading) gets a feast with the fatted calf and a new wardrobe: ring, robe, and shoes. The parable is also for us – don’t just be glad for your own salvation but seek out those who have been newly found by God and throw a party. Bring our most lavish gifts to celebrate with any and all who want to celebrate. Not those who we’d expect to see at the banquet – friends and relatives, but the poor and social outcasts. Remember the parable of the Great Banquet was just the chapter before!

The theme of feasting, hospitality, and eating together is all over the pages of Luke’s gospel. Once I started noticing it, it is so clear that Luke really wants us to know that eating together is very important. It’s quickly becoming my favorite Gospel narrative. Because of its emphasis on eating together (Jesus eats with ‘sinners’), it shows that these simple actions are actually very important to God. I like cooking for people and because of passages like Luke 15, I am beginning to see the dinner party as a necessary spiritual practice in my life. So come on over for dinner sometime!

 

Author: adamkurihara

Director of Worship and Community Life at Trinitarian Congregational Church, Wayland, MA.

3 thoughts on “Lent Log Day 5: Feasts”

  1. We’ve started a new thing at Peninsula Bible Church – Come. Eat. Share. – as a means to do just that – feast with people! You sign up to host whatever number (we chose 5) and then you are matched with that many people who would like to share a meal – likely people you don’t know (although all at PBC). This will be our first time as a couple, although the church has done it once before and I think it was well received. I’m looking forward to feeding new friends, cultivating new relationships and seeing where God leads those. Have on my heart lately to ‘adopt’ some younger folks at PBC in some way, so am wondering if this could be a path to that.

  2. And you have the feasting gene too – brought to you by your Great-Grandma Kurihara. Because of her, her sons, their wives and kids (your Dad included) were shown what hospitality means. She always invited others over too – not just relatives. I know your Mom has that gene too! So, the next time you’re in SoCal, you are invited to eat with us – and when we are in Boston, we will eat with you – K?

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