“Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
We must wrestle with today’s selection to find a lesson in gratitude. In today’s scripture, we find Jesus responding to a person’s trick question about who will be saved. The question was loaded: “Will only a few be saved?” It is as if he wanted Jesus to say, “Yes, and you are among them.”The question, with emphasis on only a few, was loaded and exclusive. Jesus responded in his usual unpredictable way. He responded by saying that even though God’s way is narrow, God’s salvation is wide. The good news here is that the people who are unexpected participants in the Kingdom of God are welcomed. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds as we see in the Gospel writer’s reference of them being from the east, west, north, and south. The lesson in gratitude in this text is that the kingdom of God is full of unexpected people, eating together, united in One. We have a tendency to only seek the Kingdom of God for ourselves. But, this lesson shows us that true gratitude for God’s grace — for the Kingdom of God — is in extending it to everyone. How are you inviting people to live in the Kingdom of God? When has been a time when you have learned a spiritual lesson from someone who was unexpected?