September 3, 2019
by Lynn Mason
Laity of Wesley Memorial UMC (Johnson City, TN)
Three Rivers District
Invitation is a key word in this parable. Guests have been invited to a banquet but they give attention to more urgent matters. The excuses sounded legitimate but it was an orchestrated plan with the intention of embarrassing the host.
A large banquet with more food than could be imagined was ready, but the guests refused to attend thinking that work, possessions, and relationships were more important.
This is about the Pharisees refusing to accept Christ for who He really was-but it is also about today’s society finding excuses to avoid God’s invitation which includes the same excuses stated in the parable plus many more.
The host did not walk away and leave the food on the tables, instead he sent his servant out to invite the poor, the blind, the crippled and others considered outcasts by society to come and to eat what had been prepared.
These were the people never invited to large banquets and gatherings because they lacked social standing and influence in the community, and they had no money or other resources to reciprocate.
But this man wanted his house to be full. He wanted to find those who wanted what he had to offer.
There were no excuses from this diverse crowd. They had never been invited to such a feast. However, one man’s hospitality and generosity gave them a sense of belonging. Instead of rejection they experienced acceptance.
My thoughts lead to the sacrament of Holy Communion. This means of grace, by which Christ is remembered for the sacrifice that He made, is an invitation to come to His table.
Many find excuses not to attend church when communion is to be served; perhaps they have something more important to do. The United Methodist church extends an open invitation to anyone wanting to participate in this act of worship. Christ has prepared His table and invites everyone to come and to receive the food that He offers.
Many came to Jesus to be healed and to be fed, but He also met the people where they were and He showed them His love. That love was not based on social status or influence but through grace.
The world becomes more separated from God every day. Christ has set the examples for all Christians to follow. Now is the time to put discipleship into action and that begins with an invitation.