Summary: God is not a buzz-kill.
“Go to the Street Corners”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace UMC, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org
Have you ever heard about a party…
…perhaps, you knew, through friends, or whatever that another friend or acquaintance was throwing a party, but you never received an invitation?
Perhaps it was a big shin-dig and all the “popular” and “beautiful people” were going to be there.
Or perhaps it was just a small get-together.
Never-the-less, the person throwing the party didn’t want you there.
How did that make you feel?
I remember in high school, there was a huge party going on at a really “quote-unquote” popular kid’s house.
Her parents had gone out of town and it seemed like the entire high school was there.
Some friends of mine and I were planning to attend.
But when we pulled up in a car; someone came out and told us that we were not wanted, not welcome—we couldn’t come in.
What a humiliating experience.
I probably still wear some scars from that day.
There’s nothing like situations such as those to make you feel as if you are not as good as every one else.
They have a tendency to make you feel, somehow, less than human.
In the parable in our Gospel Lesson from Matthew for this morning Jesus talks about a “big shin dig”.
I suppose it’s the biggest “shin dig” in the world.
It’s a Kingdom party…or THE KINGDOM PARTY.
It’s a party for Jesus.
It’s a marriage feast between Jesus Christ and people…people like you and people like me.
And Jesus describes this feast as a party that has no end!!!
That sounds like my kind of party.
Sadly, the first persons to be invited to this feast—the religious people of Christ’s day thought of God’s Kingdom more in terms of a fast than a feast, and they weren’t interested in this particular event.
They had received their invitations and had been told that they did not have to bring anything but themselves.
They didn’t have to dress up.
They didn’t have to make themselves look pretty.
They didn’t have to follow some special code of etiquette.
They didn’t have to be especially cool or especially beautiful.
They didn’t have to be the captain of the football team or of the cheer-leading squad.
They were just invited to come for the fun…just the way they were!
There were no strings attached!!!
It was just going to be a bunch of ‘messy people’ having a party with the King of the Universe!
But this didn’t fit their definition of a party.
Where were the cliques?
Where were the lines being drawn?
Where was the edict to make sure and wear a tie and jacket?
Would there be people there whom they deemed unacceptable?
And on top of all this, it was going to be a raucous event.
The oxen had been butchered and the fattened calf.
Perhaps there would be a DJ spinning some hot tunes or maybe even a live band.
God was really throwing a party to end all other party’s!!!
This was not how these religious guys (and they were all guys) envisioned God.
Their god didn’t eat, drink, and make merry.
Their god was a somber, elderly fellow.
Maybe even a grouchy old man!!!
He was very stern.
He didn’t like loud rock and roll music or even fun for that matter.
And he didn’t like people who liked to have fun.
Their god was an angry god.
Their god was all about keeping them in line.
I think it’s so awesome that Jesus’ 1st miracle recorded in the Gospel of John happened at a wedding feast.
And what did Jesus do at that feast?
Did He snap His fingers and stop the party?
Did He come crashing in like a police squad to squash the fun and take the revelers to jail?
No, He turned water into wine so that the already extremely drunk partier’s could keep on partying.
That was our Lord’s first miracle!!!
And if you need anymore proof than that that God is not a buzz-kill…well…I don’t know what to say!
But those invited to the great big bash in our parable for this morning thought of God exactly like that—a buzz-kill…so they didn’t come to God’s Party….
….they paid no attention…they were no-shows…
What a bummer.
They missed out on all the fun!
Are you or anyone you know missing out on the fun of being a part of God’s party?
Has someone, somewhere
down the line told you that God is some mean guy who is making a list and checking it twice?
Do you think God is out to get you?
That would be a very pitiable situation indeed.
Wouldn’t make much sense.
I think the reason why Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine was because He came to say: “You’ve heard it said that God is like this or God is like that…Relax, rejoice, be free!!! I’ll show you what God is like!!!”