Friday, April 8, 2011

Matthew 22:1-14


RSVP. It seems to be a word of the past.

In fact trying to get people to RSVP to events can be like trying to get blood out of a stone. In this Parable, Jesus tells a story of a wedding feast. This is powerful imagery used throughout Scripture. God has put on a lavish feast!

Sometimes we miss the joy of this truth that we have a party to attend! God invites us to be part of this wedding feast. We are invited to the table…

In the Parable the king sends out an invite but people ignore it: no RSVP. Gutted.

Stanley Hauerwas says:

“This is a feast of God’s abundance. Yet many seem to think that they have all they need and refuse to take the time to attend the king’s banquet. They act as if they need no king, consumed, as they are by their daily lives. Some, insulted by the persistence of the king’s invitation, even kill his slaves. Jesus, just as he had in the parable of the wicked tenants, suggests that the way the king’s slaves were treated is the way that Israel had treated God’s prophets.”

Excerpt from Stanley Hauerwas, SCM Theological Commentary on the Bible: Matthew (London: SCM, 2006), 188.

I found this reflection by Hauerwas challenging. “Many seem to think that they have all they need and refuse to take the time to attend the king’s banquet”.

God’s invites us to a party, to a wedding feast. Will we RSVP? Or are we too busy?

And when we do so, we must remember to wear the right clothes. What does this mean? Once we accept the invite to this party, God will seek to transform us. We can’t carry on wearing our ratty clothes of selfishness, pride, immorality, envy, greed etc. God seeks to replace these by the power of his spirit with the clothes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.

As the Church this Lent, we fast and practice self-denial. But as we get to Easter we remember the lavish feast that God has put on for us. That is why on Easter Sunday we are sharing a meal together. We celebrate and party because of what God has done in Jesus’ death and resurrection!

I think we as the Church ought to learn how to party! After all our God is a God who gives us reason to celebrate.

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