“The Parable of the Banquet for the Poor, the poetic picture of this sacred feast, teaches us that the Kingdom of God is community where everyone can come to the table and a model of equality.
This community is already at that table; every Sunday we gather here around the bread and the wine, every time support groups meet at this place to share food and coffee, every week members of this community meet in each other’s homes, every day that activists within this congregation work to improve the living conditions of the poor.
Every time we work to make the world a better place for those who need it most, that is God’s table, and that is the Kingdom of God.”
“The ramifications of loving your neighbours as yourself are deeper than you might’ve thought. What would you want others to do for you if you were having your rights, your humanity, your reputation and your dignity challenged? Would you like them to sit on the fence? Sit this one out because it’s a bit too theologically contentious?”
“Can we consider acting on behalf of others simply because they are human and not for any other reason? Can we include people in the “us” that we would defend no matter what the cost? Even if it had nothing to do with me and the people like me? Even if it had nothing to do with protecting my way of life, my standard of living or my world view? Even if it cost me some of those things?”
“Instead of arming ourselves to fight against a non-existent assault on Christianity – can we instead struggle against our greed, our need for comfort and convenience, our need to know all the answers, our need to be right all the time? Can we struggle against our tendency to put ourselves first?
Can we be known for living a lifestyle of selfless love rather than for defending our system of beliefs?”
‘Every generation, religious or secular, can see the end of the world coming soon. It’s normal. We apply our social anxieties to the status quo around us. Today, however, we face legitimate ecological, economic and humanitarian crisis. We can see our world coming to an end.
Jesus saw the end of the world also. Jesus was like us; Jesus could see his own world coming to an end, and he believed that God would one day restore the world, but he also knew that the Kingdom of God is here now. Jesus shows us how to build a better world, even if we can see our own world ending.
The world might be ending, but we go to the poor; reach out to the sick and the oppressed. We improve the living conditions of those in need.
The world might be ending, but we share our table with the poor and the powerless. We create communities of equality.
The world might be ending soon, but the Kingdom of God is here now, a community among us, growing over time.
This world might be ending… Like Jesus, we build a better world regardless.’
‘We expend a lot of energy wondering what other people’s agendas are – assuming their actions or decisions have a hidden motive, especially when their actions or decisions are outside the norm, create conflict or take us outside our comfort zone. It’s easiest to assume people are driven by ambition, greed, competition, the approval of others or some other form of self-interest because we recognise those motivations in ourselves.’