Most people who run for election to public office have to raise money to support their campaign. The higher the public office, the more money is needed. I’ve read that projections for spending on the 2016 Presidential campaign could be as high as $6 Billion.
That’s Billion with a “B”!
One way candidates raise the money they need is by inviting their supporters to attend lavish banquets. In exchange for this invitation, candidates expect something in return - $1,000 per plate, $5,000, per plate, $10,000 or more – big money gifts to help the candidate get her word out in the hope of being elected. Once elected, candidates quickly realize the cycle doesn’t end there, and those that contributed to the campaign now look for something the candidate might give back.
This is the way the world gives – by expecting something in return.
When God’s Word is given, something different happens. It comes with a promise, not a demand. Where God’s Word is proclaimed, Jesus has promised us that God makes God’s home there. God’s Word is an invitation for us to invite God into our midst and to invite others to share in that promise. It is an invitation given freely and therefore we are free to give it freely as well. It is an invitation that promises peace, not an endless cycle of give-backs and favors. In some respects, we might consider this to be a Holy dance where God leads by taking the first step of invitation and we then step in response by inviting God (and those made in God’s image) to take part in the Holy dance.
In the Book of Acts, Paul meets a woman named Lydia, who was captivated by God’s Word proclaimed through the lips of Paul. God’s Word was so powerfully dancing with Lydia, that her spirit of hospitality became joyfully engaged and she invited Paul and his followers to dine with her family that very evening – a life forever changed by the Word that gives as only God can give, without any demand for us to even the score.
Hospitality is love. Hospitality is grace.
How will you take part in God’s invitation dance today?
Devotions for the Week of May 1, 2016
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About this website
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church (GA) in New York City has been chosen as one of eight internship congregations to participate this year in a church-wide initiative designed to increase our understanding of Holy Scripture and most importantly, to cultivate our engagement with it. In partnership with The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Vicar John Heidgerd will be working to develop innovative ways to deepen our faith formation and sense of discipleship for the sake of ourselves and our communities.