Summary: God has given an invitation to eternal life. Will you accept or reject grace?
Prayer: Merciful Father, you are a generous Lord and Savior. We thank you for the invitation to come to your eternal feast and we accept that invitation. Help us to invite others to dine at your table, to be washed in the waters of baptism, to accept forgiveness, and to always acknowledge that grace offered is the way for us to be reconciled with you and we will praise you forever and ever. Amen.
Have you ever been given an invitation to an event to which you did not RSVP, which simply means Respondez s’il vous plait or translated respond if you please and suddenly you received a phone call or an email request as a follow up. Now normally at that time, if you did not already, you would feel obligated to reply. You might contact the host because sometimes things do get lost in cyberspace and of course, mail and you would not want to appear to be rude. After all, the RSVP is just a polite way of requesting a response to the invitation, not a suggestion to the invited guest to respond if he or she feels like it. When you have multiple invitations for the same date, you usually, or at least I do, will attend the one for which you received the invitation first. I am sure this would change, if and only if, it were a sovereign command and as you know, One does not refuse a King, a queen, a Pope, a Bishop, well you get the jest. In our Gospel text, after the Olivet discourse, better known as the sermon on the Mount of Olives we have a series of things that take place in Jesus’ ministry, we have the healing of the man with leprosy and Peter’s mother-in-law, the calming of the storm, more healings, the call of Matthew, the disciples being sent out, and the kingdom parables, prophecies, Q&A, and more kingdom parables. You know that you have a kingdom parable when you read “The Kingdom of God…” or have some reference to heaven. The Parable of the Wedding Feast is a follow-up to our First Lesson (Isaiah 25:6) this morning, that of the Old Testament’s depiction of final salvation under the image of a banquet. In this particular text you have an intense victory celebration, morning meal or the main feast in which death is swallowed up forever. The Matthew text breaks it down a little further. The King i.e., God has given an invitation to Salvation, the messianic banquet via his Son Jesus Christ, first to the house of Israel, who rejected the invitation twice and after a series of violent and chaotic events the King has a change of heart and an invitation was given to everyone, no one was excluded, We had the good, the bad, the ugly, the drunkard, the lame, the prostitute, the hypocrite, the back bitters, the proud, the rich, the poor, the unclean, the oppressors. The invitation was given to those who used drugs, those who abused and were neglectful, you had the tired the weary, the heartbroken, the hungry and the down trodden and soon the banquet hall, the church was filled. Although the Hall was filled and wedding attire was given to the guest, would you believe it, one of the guests did not put on the right attire and was bound, hand and foot and thrown into outer darkness where there was endless weeping, and gnashing of teeth. That guest did not want to put on the wedding garment of repentance; Did not want to cover himself in salvation He did not have a change of heart and mind. He refused the kings sovereign command and rejected God’s only provision for eternal life.
Have you noticed that the tenth verse affirms the "Great Commission", How many of us know what the Great Commission is? It is the Gospel invitation to be spread to all. It is evangelism in the truest form according Christ by his authority which has been given to you. Turn with me to Matthew 28:19 someone read it. We have been given the invitation to leave the table of abundance, leave the font of everlasting life and to go out into the community, this community, our world to make disciples all despite of their circumstance. We have the obligation to go out invite all to the great Morning meal, the banquet that last forever. We have the duty to invite those and whosesoever that will, those that are thirsty and hungry for the abundant life of God, come to drink of the water if eternal life to accept grace as it is given and become as is in the last verse of this perciope, the chosen of God. Now will you accept the invitation that was given to you on Calvary, where the Shroud of sin was cast over all peoples, over all nations was erased? Will you taste and see the rich food of marrow which was broken and the wine of righteousness was poured from his side for the forgiveness of sin? (ab lib) You have heard the call to gather with God’s people and in God’s house for worship and to go out and bring more in so that they can also dine at the Lord’s Table. This King our God, our creator, has come near us. As we Anticipate the holy meal of grace, we confess that God has given what earth could never produce, the bread of life from heaven. Let all of the people of God say, amen, amen and amen.