Reflections: October 25, 2020
The 20th Sunday after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. (Matthew 22:10)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Being good doesn't get you into the Kingdom of God. Being bad doesn't keep you out. Jesus is teaching us that being brought to His wedding feast, being dragged in, is God's work, through His servants--His pastors who preach the Gospel.
The man gets thrown out because he refuses to wear the customary wedding garment that was freely provided by the host. He doesn't want to live as one who is baptized. Maybe he thinks he's good enough to be there without a wedding garment. Maybe he just doesn't want to be there at all and doesn't care. Either way, it's not the host's fault the man has to be kicked out, it's the man's own fault. He is "speechless." He has no confession. He can't say, "I'm here because of your grace in inviting me and dragging me in."
Jesus brought you into the wedding feast. He didn't bring you because you are good. He won't throw you out because you are bad. His death on Calvary assures your place. His resurrection means it's a wedding bash and not a funeral supper. He has washed and clothed you for the party in the waters of Baptism. He's the main course in the feast of His Body and Blood.
There are two kinds of people who will be thrown out to the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. First, there are those who didn't want to come in the first place. They are the ones who hear the Good News that Jesus is their Savior and say, "No thanks. Don't need Him. I've got better things to do." Second, there are those who are brought in but throw off their wedding garments, despise their Baptism and then have nothing to say when asked. That's on them. They've thrown it away by unbelief.
But you have been brought in. You have been clothed. You are ready to enjoy the feast because the Lord has made you a part of His party. Jesus has brought you to an everlasting celebration of life and salvation. Party on in the Name + of Jesus! Amen.
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 the 20th Sunday after Trinity)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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