“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host;and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. ” Luke 14:8-10
Sunday’s Gospel reading gives us an insight into first century culture and social norms. It seems that table seating was a big deal. Of course, everyone wanted to be at the main table and the closer to the head, the better! Your seating depended on your social status and if you sat in someone’s seat who had a higher social status, you were at risk of being asked to move.
Then along comes Jesus and he rewrites the seating arrangements to the horror of those giving the banquet!