I love weddings! There is something very special, meaningful, and amazing that surrounds the joy, exuberance, and excitement involved in all of the festivities of the day. Throughout my life I have been invited to many weddings, been a part of several, and have even officiated a few as well. It is so fun to get to see the love and commitment that this young couple displays as they promise to love each other with a love that is way beyond their own personal capacity…even if it might not feel or look like it in that moment. But even beyond, the happiness of the ceremony and seeing friends and family, one of the best parts of the wedding is the afterparty…the reception! While I completely understand and respect all that happens to get up to this point, the reception takes the cake…literally. The food, the punch, the candy bar...bring it on!
Do you know who is another fan of wedding parties? God! All throughout Scripture, He uses imagery of banquets, feasts, parties, and weddings to communicate the immense generosity and communal joy that will surround the family of God when we are home in heaven. We read images like in Isaiah 25: On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines. Or in Isaiah 55: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost...” Even Jesus’ first miracle that kicked off His Earthly ministry was at a wedding reception! What can we say? God sure loves to throw a good party!
It is with this reality in mind that we come to another Kingdom Parable describing the Kingdom of God like a wedding banquet. We will see, hear, and experience again how each of us is personally invited by God to receive His good gifts to us. He is so excited to have us come and join this celebration! Who would want to miss out on this? And yet, the sad and unfortunate reality is that some do. There are many reasons and excuses that people might give for not coming to the party or even returning their RSVP. For some, they are too busy, others are simply not interested. But the invitation still stands, the offer is still on the table. Come to the party and be received gladly and with open arms. We are asked to bring nothing but ourselves and allow our hearts, minds, and souls to overflow and be transformed as a result of this life-changing banquet.
So, what have you done with your invite to this wedding feast? Is it on the table hidden in the pile of mail? Is it in the garbage? Or is it signed, sealed, and returned? Either way, the invitation to come and enjoy remains the same.
Looking forward to the party of all parties,
Pastor Ben Bigaouette