Friday, March 8 | Luke 14:15-24

Christine Guy

Think about what this Great Banquet represents. I would like to propose that the Banquet is Jesus’ most common image for what God offers us. Isaiah 25:6 says “And the Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine.”

The excuses given by the socially elite guests to refuse the invitation at the last minute according to the culture are lame, rude and publicly shaming to the host.

Take a few moments to reflect on what is being rejected here.

The Banquet is ready. All are invited! It is free. May we not be preoccupied with our own understandings, expectations, and disordered attachments that we are unwilling to join the lavish meal with the Master.

In the beautiful movie ‘Babette’s Feast’, Babette, a French chef, decides to prepare a sumptuous banquet for the entire community. The people initially resist Babette’s invitation, but finally agree to attend. They decide to eat the food, but not to enjoy it. At the end of the marvelous feast (which they have finally enjoyed), the worthy general stands up and speaks: “Humanity, my friends, is frail and foolish. We have all of us been told that grace is to be found in the universe but in our human foolishness and shortsightedness we imagine that divine grace is finite and for this reason we tremble. The moment comes when our eyes are opened, and we see and realize that grace is infinite. Grace…demands nothing from us but that we shall await it with confidence and acknowledge it in gratitude. Grace… makes no conditions and singles out none of us in particular; grace takes us all… to its bosom and proclaims general amnesty. That which we have chosen is given to us, and that which we have refused is… granted to us. Ay, that which we have rejected has been poured upon us abundantly.” (Isak Dinesen, “Babette’s Feast).

May we understanding this grace of God.

Christine Guy has been attending Trinity since 2021. She had the opportunity to be a pilgrim for a portion of the Camino de Santiago in Spain in March last year. She lives with her husband, Mark, on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Find all Lenten Devotionals from Trinity Cathedral here.