“Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.” Matthew 22:9
The verse above is from another puzzling parable that Jesus tells to help us understand who God is and how God works. In the story a king has prepared a wedding banquet and invited all sorts of guests. But most of them have not come and some have even attacked the king’s representatives in response to the invitation. This is a tough crowd!
So the verse above is the king’s instruction to the servants. If the original guests won’t come, the king will invite others. The goal is that the banquet be full. And they go out and get anyone and everyone who will come, both good people and bad people, and the feast begins.
But there is one more twist. One of the guests refuses to put on a wedding robe. The king is insulted at the gall of this guest and kicks him out. Everyone is invited but none of us dare to take this invitation for granted. It is a gift and not a right to be here. God’s grace is amazing but not something to take lightly.
It is clear that whatever this parable tells us about God, one thing we can say with confidence is that God is working hard and being proactive to bring people into the kingdom of God. Our resistance frustrates God but it will not stop God from reaching out and hoping that heaven is a full place and not an empty one.
So, who are you at God’s banquet? Are you a guest who is thankful for the invitation and glad to celebrate God’s goodness? Are you one of the servants who were sent to reach out to anyone and everyone who would come to the party? Or are you the guest who was asked to leave because you were welcomed but unwilling to honor the invitation and the one who invited you properly?
If we are honest, at any moment we could be accused of being any one of these roles. Pray that you are able to see the goodness of God’s invitation for you to join in the banquet of heaven. Share that invitation with others you know. But also take time to give thanks for the gift – it is not something to take lightly. In fact, it is the one thing that matters most.