On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable.Luke 14:1, 7 (NRSV)
I couldn’t help but ‘notice’ that as Jesus goes to a dinner party he is being watched closely by those in attendance. They want to see what he is about, how he conducts himself, what works or miracles he may grace them with. Jesus in returns also watches closely those at the dinner party. He was especially interested in what place they took at the table. Did they gravitate toward a place of honor or one of lower status? Both the dinner guests and Jesus desired to know something about those around them. And instead of making assumptions and generalizations they all took some time to stop, look, and listen.
There is so much in this passage but I don’t want us to miss the obvious. Noticing is such an important part of our faith journey. Paying attention to what is going on around us is key. The best noticers that I know of are people who are not centered upon themselves but have a curiosity for others and that which is around them. They take the time and energy to pay attention to what is said as well as how it is conveyed. Noticers see the beauty of the flowers and also take time to inhale the smells. They are NOT IN A HURRY! Caps for my benefit and reminding…
For some, noticing comes naturally, but for many it is learned. It becomes a habit and a way of life. When we become adept at noticing what we find is God is at work all around us, the needs of our society are at our doorstep, and the goodness of humanity, who are made in God’s image, never ceases to amaze.
God is the God of revelation. Noticers are in a prime spot to pick up on that revelation. As we begin a new week, let me encourage us to refuse to rush through our week, to stop and smell some flowers, listen closely to our neighbor, and pay attention to what God might be saying to us.