In order to fulfill the Great Commission, we need to know whom Jesus wants us to invite to our Thanksgiving dinner. John Piper said these words in 1980 when the fourth Thursday of November was right around the corner. As a new pastor wanting to lead his people to obey all of Jesus's commands, he opened to Luke 14:12–14.
[Jesus] said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
At this point — as you read this — an old sermon that's rooted in an even older text reaches into our present and waves us down. We should listen. The words of Jesus in Luke 14, after all, are for his church with transhistorical power. Right now in 2012, with the fourth Thursday of November a week away, Piper's 32-year-old exposition offers two points to keep in mind as you invite folks to gather around Thanksgiving dinner next week.
First, beware the law of reciprocity.