The Little Red Invitation

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Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God. –Leviticus 25:17

Remember the Little Red Hen?

She found some wheat and wondered who would help turn it into bread.

“Not I” said the Pig.

“Not I” said the Cat.

“Not I” said the Rat.

Then, when the loaf of bread was hot, fresh and steaming, the Little Red Hen asked, “Who will help me eat the bread?”

“I will” said the Pig.

“I will” said the Cat.

“I will” said the Rat.

And the Little Red Hen said,

“Like h— you will!”And she ate the whole thing herself.

Or something like that.

I say Kudos to the Little Red Hen.  She stood up for herself.  She didn’t allow herself to be taken advantage of.

However…

I can’t help but ask the question…What would Jesus do?

Would Jesus have denied those other animals some bread because they were lazy and unhelpful?

Or would he have welcomed them to the table and fed them, even if they were undeserving?

Honestly, I’m not sure!

On the one hand, we preach a Gospel of Salvation by Faith alone.  Works are a response to Grace, not a requirement for it.

So the question is, do the Pig, the Cat, and the Rat offer up any sign of Faith?  Or are they more like the Goats–who say, “When did we see you in need of help and ignored you?”

To which Jesus says (gulp) “I never knew you.”

The invitation in our (United Methodist) liturgy says this:

Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Wow.  The Pig and Cat and Rat don’t deserve that bread at ALL!”

Maybe.

But it’s the invitation that makes all the difference.

If the Little Red Hen, instead of flat-out denying the other animals because of their lack of effort, had spoken to them about what this bread means…

How it was prepared as a sign of Love…

How she was willing to share it with any of them who were willing to accept not just the bread, but the Love that came with it…

Maybe, just maybe, that loaf of bread could have been a means for transforming their lives.

Then the Little Red might not have felt so taken advantage of,

and the invitation to break bread

could have fallen on six willing ears.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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