Wedding Feast Gone Bad

1 Man Dead of a Heart Attack, 3 Arrested After Hotel Wedding Brawl in City of Brotherly Love

http://abcnews.go.com/US/arrested-man-dead-wedding-brawl-caught-video/story?id=17420201

By LINSEY DAVIS (@LinseyDavis)

Oct. 8, 2012

Philadelphia police have been investigating a violent brawl inside a hotel between the guests of two different wedding parties that left one man dead from an apparent heart attack, and three others arrested.

Dozens of police officers responded to the violent clash in the lobby of the Sheraton Society Hill in Philadelphia Sunday around 2 a.m. At one point the fight got so chaotic that police used batons on those who resisted their efforts to break up the fight. One person had to be subdued with a Taser. Police said the use of such force was justified.

A paradox is a statement, proposition, or situation that seems to be absurd or contradictory, but in fact is or may be true. The heading of the article above contains some paradoxical phrases. “Wedding brawl in the city of brotherly love” appears a tad bit absurd or contradictory. The wedding feast is one where love, commitment and dedication are the primary themes and not tasers, batons, chaos and violence. It was not clear what started this brawl but it was apparent that the over usage of alcohol was a primary and contributing factor.

Jesus liked to use stories or parables to illustrate his message. In one such parable he used the image of a wedding feast.

Luke 14:7-11So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (NKJV)

In verse 11, Jesus uses a paradoxical statement to show the importance of true humility. The world system today places high value upon people who are self reliant, confident and prideful. We look up to people who have lifted themselves up “by their boot straps” and made a name for themselves. In other words, they came from humble beginnings but were able to elevate themselves to a better way of life. Jesus flips the table on this concept. He esteems the humble person over the prideful and confident. Placing someone above our self does not come natural to us. Our sinful nature actually wants to elevate us to the position of being God. The original sin was birthed out of Adam and Eve’s desire to be as elevated, wise, enlightened and as powerful as God. When our sinful nature clashes with the fact that only God is God then it has the makings for an old fashion brawl. When we become Christians, we enter into the same union as a husband and wife. We, the church, are the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom. If we bring to the wedding feast our prideful and self elevating nature, then there is going to be a “brawl in the city of brotherly love”. The answer to this potential brawl is through the active works of humility. If we practice each day to uplift or elevate others then we are pleasing God and promoting the works of sanctification. My old sinful self must be crucified daily. The promoting of this sanctification process comes through humility. Who have you elevated today?

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About David Jones

David is a Memphis native and lives with his wife of 25 years and two children. David has a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of Memphis. He has worked in mental health for over 30 years with adolescents and adults in inpatient, outpatient, and residential settings. For the past 15 years David’s primary focus has been working with men and their spouses in intensive sexual addiction workshops.

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