Lenten Reflections

Go! for Lent: Luke 14:21, 23

March 9, 2016
The Rev. Francisco García, Priest in Charge, Holy Faith Church, Inglewood, CA

“Go out at once into the streets...” This scripture speaks to me because it is about action. It speaks to us of the expansiveness of God’s love, represented here in the parable of the banquet. When those who were readily welcomed to the great dinner declined the invitation, the owner of the house responds with a righteous anger, and challenges the customs of the day, letting loose on the invitation. “Go...and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” Basically, bring in the most outcast, marginalized group of people you can find! Fill my house with people such as these! Can you imagine such a situation in our houses of worship, at our fancy stewardship dinners, on our church committees? What if the people living on the streets, or our neighbors that speak a different language, or have a different economic status--those radically different from us in whatever way it may be--were fully welcomed and given a rightful place in our faith communities? Not out of pity or charity, but from a place of deep compassion, love, and justice. We just might have a revolution in the church and in our hearts; we just might find ourselves following Jesus.

I am challenged by this message during Lent, and I hope that you are too. We must break down the walls of our churches, go out into the streets, and demolish the barriers that divide us. The barriers are many, they are rigid, and they perpetuate injustice and social trauma. But God’s invitation compels us to break through. If we make ourselves vulnerable and do this work, I believe that the banquet table will be full of all of God’s beautiful people.

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