by Kathy Matuschka
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‘The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son’ (Matthew 22:2).
This week we consider the question: what is a fitting response to God’s generous invitation to join ‘the banquet’?
What sort of a person doesn’t accept an invitation to a royal wedding? Today, one would assume that such a person was a republican; someone who does not accept the king’s authority and prefers to keep open his or her options for whom they will follow.
In today’s story, the king starts by inviting the most obvious guests to his son’s wedding. But he’s not put off in his intention to hold a banquet when they decline his invitation and even kill his messengers.
The king is prepared to invite anyone and everyone. They needn’t worry that they don’t have something suitable to wear because the king will even supply their outfit.
As recipients of such generosity, what are the guests expected to do in response? Simply accept his generosity. One man prefers a little autonomy and wears his own clothes. The trouble is that what he chooses to wear will never get him into the great hall.
Of course, the king in this story represents God, and the banquet is God’s kingdom, both here on earth and in heaven forever. Those who first heard this parable would have known that those invited first were the Jewish people and that the messengers represented their prophets, whose voices the people had rejected.
God invites us to the banquet and provides what we need to join the feast: we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. What is a fitting response to God’s generosity?
We simply turn up. This week will consider some ways we can ‘turn up’ as residents of God’s kingdom.
Dear loving God, I know that there is no way I can ever repay your invitation to ‘the banquet.’ Nevertheless, I pray that you will help me to grow in my loving response to your kindness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.