I'm gonna be honest. This is a tough text for me to unpack. I was raised (maybe you were, too) to sit at the low end of the table. I was taught it's not ok to brag. It's not ok to exalt yourself. Stay humble and be self-deprecating. I cannot imagine sitting at the head of the table as a guest at the banquet. We are taught to apologize for everything, even things that require no remorse. "Oh, I went through the door before you... I'm sorry!" "Oops, I bumped your arm... I'm sorry!" "I spoke at the same time as you... I'm sorry!" I am quite adept at sitting so low, there is nowhere to go but up.
So how do I hear this story? I guess my take-away would be this. It's not ok to brag... about things that I did not actually accomplish. It's not ok to exalt myself... at the expense of others. I can stay humble without being self-deprecating. I can hear Jesus' words, and at the same time treat myself at least we well as I treat others.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “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. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”