Reflections: The 20th Sunday after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Matthew 22:1-14, Introit: Ps. 48:1, 9–11

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 31:30-32:27; Matthew 20:1-16

“Everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” (Mt. 22:4c)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Today the Lord bids you to feast at the house of the King!  You know the food will be good. The meals at regular wedding receptions are always tasty – with cake, too! How much better would the meal be at the wedding reception for the King’s Son?

But in the parable, the people who were invited won’t come. They make excuses why they’d rather not go. “Sorry, just got married, and we wanted to just watch TV tonight…”  “Sorry, can’t come. Cows matter but you don’t…”  How lame are these excuses!

God invites you to a different kind of wedding feast, the wedding feast of the Lamb and His Church. That will happen in heaven, surely.  But it also happens every Sunday where the Gospel is purely proclaimed and the Sacraments rightly administered according to God’s Word, in the liturgy.  The service of the Sacrament is rightly called “a foretaste of the feast to come,” that feast of forgiveness that will come eventually on the last day.  But today, God invites you to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His Word, and taste His body and drink His blood for the forgiveness of sins in the Lord’s Supper.  But do you make excuses to God why you can’t go?  (If you’re sick or something, that’s an ok time to stay home from church.  Just be in God’s Word if that happens).

In the parable, the king destroyed the murderers and everyone in their city, then he invited others who seemed to be less worthy. God’s Law thunders from heaven.  It silences every mouth by holding the whole world guilty.  But it also puts our sins to death as it leads us to repent and actively turn away from our sins. Then, for we who are unworthy guests who repent of our sins, God invites us to trust His love and forgiveness in Christ. This is the Gospel, the invite to this heavenly feast on earth as well as the robe of Christ’s righteousness that covers your sins. But are you worthy to go?  Not by your efforts or works. But always because of Christ! Trusting that his invite is for you is what makes you feast-worthy – therefore, come and receive. You are worthy in Him. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O Lord, grant 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. 

-Pastor Robert Mayes is Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church and Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Beemer and Wisner, NE.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.