Quid Pro Quo

quid pro quoLiving in the Spirit
August 28, 2016

Scripture Reading: Luke 14:1, 7-14

He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ –Luke 14:12-14

We live in a quid pro quo world. You scratch my back I will scratch yours. Apparently, first century Galilee and Judea functioned within the same system. Is it human nature? And then along comes this man who blows quid pro quo away.

Grace, Paul would say, supersedes anything this world can offer. Jesus says he will repay at the resurrection of the righteous. What do you suppose we might get? When the righteous rule justice results.

These two concepts fit very nicely together. Striving for justice is a messy business. Advocates for justice cannot even agree on what justice looks like much less how to attain it. Frustration begets prayer. Prayer welcomes God to the solution table. God’s grace fills the gaps left vacant by our human endeavors. The synergy forged through just attempting to find common ground becomes strength for the next steps.

Jesus radically changes the focus of all our efforts. He forces us to dig deeply into the wellspring of learning to love like he loves because it is the only way that works.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me! 

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
In His blessèd presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs*. Amen.

Prayer: Lord, when I am discouraged help me remember your love is all I need. Amen.

*Chorus and Second Verse of Love Lifted Me Words by James Rowen. See at http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/l/o/v/lovelift.htm

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights