October 5, 2008 - The 20th Sunday after Trinity

Today's Reading: Matthew 22:1-14

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 5:1-21; Matthew 8:18-34

For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)

The king’s son was getting married. A great party was prepared, no expenses spared--the choicest meats, the finest wines, the best musicians in the land. The word went out, “The feast is ready! Come to the feast!” But the invited guests were a no-show. Everyone was busy. There was work to do. Who has time for a party? Some of the guests even became violent and killed the servants announcing the party.

What’s the king to do? He sends out the troops, burns the city, and kills the murderers of his servants. That’s what happens when you turn down the king’s invitation and kill his servants.

But the party must go on. Who’s to come? Invite those who have never been invited to the king’s house before. Go out on the roads and gather up everyone, the good and the bad. Invite as many as you can find. Is that any way to have a wedding party? It is with this king. Even if you have nothing to wear, he’s supplying the tuxedo. Just come and be glad.

There was a man at the party who refused the wedding suit and refused to speak to the king when asked about it. He was thrown out by the bouncers into outer darkness where people weep and grind their teeth over missed opportunities. How foolish!

The moral of the story: There is only one way to miss the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom--your stubborn, unbelieving rejection and refusal. Rejection of your place at the table, refusal to be clothed with Christ. You see, going to heaven is not about being good or bad. It’s about being clothed with Christ and receiving the place He has prepared for you. You are baptized. You have the wedding suit. You are invited. There is a place reserved for you at the table. The Feast is ready! Come to the Feast! Come and be glad, the good and the bad, greatest and least, come to the Feast!

Grant, we implore You, merciful Lord, to Your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve You with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity 20)