To celebrate life together, to be together in community, to simply enjoy the beauty of creation,the love of people, and the goodness of God—these seem faraway ideals.There seem to be a mountain of obstacles preventing people from being where their hearts want to be. It is so painful to watch and experience. The astonishing thing is that the battle for survival has become so “normal” that few people really believe it can be different.”
Henri Nouwen, Seeds of Hope
This is the saddest parable Jesus ever told. We are invited to a banquet. Our soul will be fed with the richest of food. There will be steak, and sirloin, wine, and bread, and honey. And great joy.
Do we have time for all this bliss?
Nope. Too busy with business and making money to spend time with someone who wants our presence at a banquet, and asks for nothing in return.
And so the invitation, having been turned down by the obvious suspects is now extended to the to the “the bad as well as the good.”
And they come. “And the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
However, to accept the hospitality while refusing to respect the host by wearing the wedding garment he has provided is as bad as rejecting it in the first place. That man is banished from the banquet.
The invitation to enjoy God, and to feast on his spiritual riches is open to everyone. However, few bother to attempt to take God up on it, and fewer to respect and value the privilege as they should.
Many are called; but few choose to be chosen.
1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”