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.