I had a chance to write an essay (And You Will Be Blessed) for the Hope Heals blog. (And if you don’t already know about Hope Heals, now is the time to check out their work. Hope Heals exists to create spiritual and social spaces of belonging and belovedness for families affected by disabilities to experience the hope of Christ in the context of inter-ability communities.)
“And you will be blessed…”
These words stopped me in my tracks as I was reading chapter 14 of Luke’s gospel. I thought I knew the story. Jesus goes to the house of a “prominent Pharisee,” and he notices that all the guests at the table are jockeying to sit in the places of highest honor and status. He also notices that the host has invited all sorts of people who are like him, other powerful religious leaders of his time. So Jesus challenges both groups. He tells them they are getting the kingdom of God all wrong. He tells the guests they should take the lowest place at the table, not the highest. And he tells the host he should invite a completely different group of people, “the lame, the blind, the poor, and the crippled.”
As if these ideas aren’t startling enough, then Jesus adds what will happen if the host follows his instructions and invites all the wrong people to his feast. Jesus says, “And you will be blessed.”
I’ve had to wonder—in what way is it a blessing to welcome people who are poor and needy? In what way is it a blessing to associate with the dispossessed and identify with the ones who most people see in terms of “can’t do,” the ones who can’t walk or can’t talk or can’t see or can’t move quickly? In what way could it be a blessing to show hospitality to people who can’t?
KEEP READING: AND YOU WILL BE BLESSED
More with Amy Julia:
- Penny’s Take on Hope Heals
- Hope Heals Camp: When We’re Seen
- Hope Heals Camp: Believing Something Good
- Hope Heals Camp: Belovedness and Belonging
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