THE WEEK OF TRINITY XVII – FRIDAY
LESSON: PSALM 138:1‒6
“When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and he who invited you both will come and say to you, “Give place to this man,” and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.” Luke 14:8‒10
This is an illustration for all of us; we must all heed the instruction given here, whether we are high or lowly. Jesus reproaches the Pharisees and the bigwigs who want to sit at the top and are prepared to trample over others to get there. Such people are always looking for places of honor. When such a place is offered us by someone with authority to offer it to us, we can accept it. Even so, there is never any excuse for trampling over others to get there.
There are those, however, who think it possible to combine the spiritual and earthly realms and that therefore it is enough to be humble in heart and still make for the place of honor. True humility of heart must express itself in outward works, otherwise it is a feigned humility. Each of us should always go and sit in the lowest place. We should throw ourselves at the feet of others rather than try to force our way to the top, unless we are forced by circumstances beyond our control to accept such a seat of honor. If we follow this course, all will be well with us. If we do not learn this lesson, we shall ultimately be put to shame.
SL 11:1684 (25‒26)
PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, by precept and example You have taught us that in Your kingdom the greatest of all is always the servant of all, and that the humble shall be exalted. Make us content to take with gladness the lowest place and, if it pleases You to call us higher, preserve within us a simple and humble heart, to Your glory and honor. Amen.