Sacred Memory Series: An Invitation
Kris Black of Oakland, CA, USA
“Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well-pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.” -Matthew 12:18
Recently our worship service reflected on the parable of the wedding banquet found in Matthew 22:1-10. We were invited to think of a time when we had invited someone to a banquet, perhaps someone we might have overlooked at first, or someone whom we may even struggle to invite. The memory of just such a banquet was so fresh in my mind that I winced. It was one of those bittersweet memories that reminded me of my own stubbornness, and yet ultimately opened my heart to a new understanding and a deeper friendship.
It all started just after the 2016 US presidential election. I found myself in heated exchanges on social media with one particular friend. Our political views were polar opposites, and our exchanges revealed a passionate commitment to each of our positions. During one of our more lively debates, she said that she would invite me to lunch, but figured I would refuse. At first I thought, “You’re right!” But there was something in her tone that made me stop and think.
Initially I thought that there was no way I wanted to subject myself to being criticized in person. Then I realized she must be thinking the same thing; otherwise, she may have extended an invitation rather than what felt like a challenge. I realized I admired her passion and her commitment to her ideas and ideals. I also recognized that it took some courage for her to engage with me in the first place.
So with all the courage I could muster, I sent her an email and extended a sincere invitation to meet for lunch. I assured her that my only motive was to have a chance to listen to her and gain a better understanding of her position. She was gracious and brave enough to accept. We had a wonderful lunch, and we found we both want the same thing-we just have radically different ideas about how to get there. We did have something in common after all: a sincere commitment to make the world a better place.
“Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you…” (Deuteronomy 8:2).
Spend time journaling or reflecting on significant memories that have shaped your life. Allow the following questions to guide you: What memories from your life shape how you encounter and respond to the world around you today? When has sacred memory in you become a path into the future?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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