Summary: What do we do when we really aren't in the mood to worship!
The Great Banquet
January 26, 2014
We’ve started this year looking at worship. And we will look at worship through one of Jesus’ parables today, and we next week we will try to answer the question, ‘what do we do when we’re not in the mood to worship.’ After all, we’ve all been there at one time or another.
One of the interesting thoughts about God is that He loves us so much, with such a fierce passion that He would send His Son to leave the joy of heaven. Jesus would leave the place of total perfection to come to the place of imperfection. God is so passionate about us that He does not want any of us to miss out on the feasting with Him. Yet, I wonder how many of us are all that excited about feasting with God.
You know how it is when you meet someone you like someone? You know how your goes pitter - patter! We get all excited and our heart starts beating a little quicker. Well, I believe that’s how God is when He thinks about us. He loves us so much, that when we pray to Him, when we call out to Him, when we embrace a relationship with Him, when we serve Him — — His heart goes pitter - patter! After all, we are the object of God’s supreme love.
With that in mind I want to look at a parable called the Great Banquet. It can be found in Luke 14. Hear the word of our Lord ~
16 Jesus said, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many.
17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’
19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’
20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant,
‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’
22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’
23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
The Great Banquet symbolizes a few things.
First, the great banquet symbolizes God's desire to bring us into an intimate relationship with Him. God is not content with being someone we've simply heard about, talked about, or considered from a distance. He wants to be our intimate God — who sits with us at the table of life, as He shares Himself with us.
Secondly, the great banquet symbolizes God's desire to fill us with His life-renewing power. God longs to be the living water, the very bread of life, from which we derive a supernatural strength for living. John said, He is the vine and we are the branches. And we draw our power and life sustenance from the vine, who pours Himself out for us. God wants to give you His power so that you are able to rise above all of life which seeks to defeat you.
Lastly, the great banquet symbolizes God's desire to transform our hearts so we would receive the life He desires us to have. Friends, we were made for an infinitely more powerful and beautiful life than this world sells us.
We were created by God to shape a planet where hard work is balanced with rest, where justice is tempered with mercy, where personal freedom is balanced with communal responsibility, because this is how the King lives. We were made to build families and businesses, communities and societies that show compassion and forgiveness to one another, and which call forth the best in each other, because this is what the King does.
The great banquet is a metaphor for our hearts to engage with God so we could reach our full potential. The great banquet is the life that disciples of Jesus enter into so we can know the Master. As we learn and experience life from and through Him. It is a sign of the ultimate relationship, power, and kingdom for which our hearts were made. Do you understand that you and your heart have been invited to this banquet?