A similar opportunity can be overlooked when we host dinner parties, as Jesus describes while observing people’s habits around such an event (Luke 14:1, 7-14). We invite people we already know or to whom we feel a social debt. That is not bad. But what if we used the cab driver example? What if we sought out people, for dinner parties and other occasions, whom we would not ordinarily meet? What if we chose to expand our horizons by hosting and being hosted by people we would not otherwise consider?
Jesus uses a meal as an image for God's eternal kingdom, and uses our approach to a meal as a measure of our approach to this kingdom. Do we see moments together as restricted to those like us, or do we see an open door to discovery of others? To grow in faith, Jesus suggests, is to approach as equals people who are not like us, and to build relations with them. We do this because all persons are equal before God, all are invited by God to his heavenly banquet.
Don't overlook your family and friends. But take time to chat with the cab driver. Chances are, your day will be enhanced, and you will learn something about the city--like I did from the young Ethiopian who was excited to describe life in Richmond.
William L. Sachs