Am I preparing myself for the final celebration while loving and caring for those around me?
How many event invitations have you skipped, not paid attention too, or for which you have not been properly prepared? These questions came to my mind in this week’s look at the parable of the wedding guests.
In this passage of Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus is telling a story of a party to which people had been invited. However, the people who had been invited refused to come so more people were brought to the wedding feast last minute. One person wasn’t properly dressed so he was kicked out of the feast. At the end of the story, Jesus makes the puzzling comment of many are invited but few are chosen. This raises several questions. Why did the original people refuse to come after having been invited? How desperate was the king in this story to bring both “good” and “bad” people to the wedding? What separates the chosen from the invited?
While I don’t know the answers to these questions, we can learn several things to take away from these questions. Firstly, which one of those people am I? I want to be the one that responds to the initial invitation but the reality is most of us are in the latter category of the good and bad that are rounded up. How am I responding to this? I need to be ready to be invited at the last minute to God’s wedding feast. This makes me wonder how ready I am for when the feast is happening and I am brought there. I want to be paying attention so that I do not ignore or treat the other servants of God poorly. Am I preparing myself for the final celebration while loving and caring for those around me?
Why was the man who was not properly dressed speechless? He either did not know what he was supposed to wear or he intentionally refused to wear the proper clothing. In modern terms, it appears that he did not know that he needed to be ready for Christ’s coming or he refused to accept Christ’s love and grace and prepare for the arrival of Christ. If he didn’t know (which in this case is unlikely, but for sake of argument), how are each of us doing our part to make sure that everyone has heard and knows of the invitation to join Christ’s family for now and forever? If he refused, that is a very sad reality that many do not accept but it is still no excuse to give up on people or to say that I am a certain way and not to change because of the invitation and to join in the wedding celebration.
Many are invited but few are chosen. Let’s be a people that are planting the seeds so that as many people as possible are receiving an invitation and desire for these people to choose to accept the invitation and be properly dressed on that day. Let us also be preparing ourselves to be ready for the final celebration and to not be caught off guard and not ready when that time comes.