From time to time, I find myself in the role of hosting an event (usually related to some church thing), and wondering if anyone will come. The chairs are set out and the meal is prepared and the door is open... but no one seems to be coming. At some point, I find myself asking - what will I do with all this food?
In our reading today, Jesus tells several parables about the kingdom of God. Each of these parables focuses on the decision that people make in response to the announcement of God's kingdom. One son chooses to work in his father's vineyard, the other does not. The tenants of the vineyard rebel against the master and kill his servants - and even the master's son. The Pharisees understood that these stories were about themselves. We can see that, having arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus knew of the opposition of the religious leaders and his imminent rejection by the people. He told these parables to warn of their decision.
In the parable of the wedding feast, Jesus turns his attention to what happens after his rejection. God has prepared a big feast and many people are refusing to come. What will happen? What will he do with all the food? Invite other people, of course! The king sent his servant out to the "highways and byways" to invite as many people as they find. Everyone who enters the feast wearing a wedding garment is welcome.
When we hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are invited into the feast. Yet, Jesus warns us that not all will respond. He warns us that there are great consequences in store for our choice. (Part of the way God's Spirit wakes us up to the gravity of our call is to show us the gravity of the consequences of responding to the gospel.) And yet, we are also given the promise of grace. Both good and bad come into the feast. By faith we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ and we enter the feast in the wedding garments of the Son of God. This is good news!
How have you responded to the invitation to enter God's wedding feast through Jesus Christ? -MK