When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
When I was a kid, I was very fat and sadly shy. Among classmates, I was socially unacceptable. The funny thing is my whole family was popular. My father, mother, brothers and cousins had loads of friends. Shouldn't my genetic programming be similar to theirs? But it wasn't. Hindsight: God wanted me to go deeper.
From a fellowship point of view, I was a poor person: the least likely to be chosen for a team or a date. As far as party invites, I wasn't on the radar. Since then, God has ushered in a major recovery. My family in Christ is large, loving and wonderful, including my children who have become believers, too.
Luke 14:1-24 includes party planning tips.* They begin when Jesus goes to eat at a Pharisee's house. Consider some lessons He shared with the leaders of the Jews.
1) Neither social nor religious rules kept Him from doing good. He ignored polite protocols to stop and heal a sick man.
2) He disagreed with the practice of priority seating. He revealed God's pleasure in those who choose the lowly places.
3) He encouraged all hosts to invite poor and lonely people, with the promise of God's coming repayment for those who do.
4) Our Master's call and Commandments must remain our first concern. If we make excuses, we'll be replaced and disinvited.
To Be Continued...
* Luke 14:1-24, which includes two Parables regarding our parties. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+14%3A1-24&version=NASB
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Poor People series.