From the Rectory – March

Raconteur is a marketing agency and publisher who create digital campaigns for various big named brands, as well as smaller brands with big aspirations. Among the content and special reports they produce, one of their particular strengths is putting together lists with all sorts of unusual and unexpected themes.

Back in 2015, they asked various journalists, politicians and authors to vote for who they thought would be the ultimate dinner party guest. The results produced a few controversial surprises. Nearly two years before he became president Donald Trump received a vote or two, as did drug lord Pablo Escobar, outspoken feminist Germaine Greer and outrageous comic Joan Rivers. Quite what the conversation would have been like at a table with those four is something that survey didn’t dwell on, but it’s probably fair to say it wouldn’t be dull.

The final six people who made the cut span the twentieth century, and include guests both living and dead. That Barack Obama would get an invite is no great shock. Author of the Harry Potter books JK Rowling would undoubtedly have plenty to chat to Gandhi about, and Marilyn Munroe could swap fashion tips with pop queen Beyoncé’s long after coffee and dessert was over..

The final guest was never one to keep his opinions to himself, as on one occasion, former PM Winston Churchill remarked “Dinner would have been splendid…if the wine had been as cold as the soup, the beef as rare as the service, and the brandy as old as the fish”

Among the stories that Jesus told was one about a ruler who organised a great banquet where many important dignitaries were invited. When the day for the feast came, none of them turned up, sending half-hearted apologies and pathetic excuses to explain their absence. So instead the ruler sent his servants out to bring in the poor and destitute of the town, the kind of people that would never normally get a look in at this kind of lavish event.

This is a picture of the life that Jesus invites us all too, and the reality that so many turn him down. We don’t get to choose who are fellow guests might be, but the feast at God’s table is not something to miss!

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