18 After Trinity

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Readings:

Sermon: 

A few days before Jesus told this parable he arrived in Jerusalem – in triumph – on a donkey.  It was the last week of his life, the Jewish authorities were increasingly perturbed by his presence and much of his teaching was aimed, very pointedly, at them.  This parable was the third of three parables.  Jesus was “ramping up” his message in this last week.

Immediately before this parable he had told the story of the tenants in the vineyard who had no respect for their master, they rejected, killed and injured messengers that were sent and even killed the master’s son.

Now a story about an invitation to a Wedding Banquet. On one level the first part of this parable is straightforward to interpret. The first invitation that was made was to the Jews, God’s chosen people.  An invitation that is rejected, some were too busy or preoccupied so refused the invitation,  others attacked the messengers.  The second invitation, following that, is to the Gentiles – an open invitation to all – the good- the bad and everything in between.

But what I find most intriguing in this parable is the King’s response when he noticed that someone was wearing inappropriate clothing for a wedding.

I love weddings! Such happy occasions – filled with joy.  I’m so, so grateful when I get an invitation –in the last few years I’ve attended loads of weddings – family – friend’s children and our own children’s friends. Weddings are wonderful and a real privilege to attend and that would have been just the same in Jesus’ day.

The King invited people to his son’s wedding banquet.  He would have given advance notice and then, when all was prepared, he sent out the second invitation – to come – now!  Why wouldn’t someone want to accept the invitation to such a wonderful, sumptuous, joyful occasion?  And that’s Jesus’ invitation to us – an invitation to a most wonderful, joyful life – not one without hardship but one with meaning, purpose and joy even in adversity.  Why wouldn’t people want to accept this invitation?

So what about the guest who turned up in the wrong clothes? If people are invited to a wedding they dress up -make an effort – it is a sign of respect to the people who have invited them. They participate, embrace the occasion. People who accept Jesus’ invitation accept it wholeheartedly – they accept his teaching– his role in their life, they respond positively to the invitation.

The guest who turned up just for the food and wine, turned up – yes – but the invitation itself meant nothing.  And the King recognised it.  In the same way God sees everything.  He knows whether each person has truly accepted him and his teaching – or not.  There is no hiding from Him.

Questions for reflection:

Psalm 139 v 23 and 24 - “Search me O God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you”

  • In all honesty, how do you think you respond to God’s invitation?
  • Is there any way you could respond differently this week?

 

 


Page last updated: 5th October 2020 1:40 PM
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