to Mt. 22:1-14
There are some scripture passages that paint a vivid picture of God’s expectations of us and his desire to lavish blessings upon us. We know those where he tells us he came so that we might have an abundant life. We he clearly tells us he will not only forgive our sin but he removal of the guilt we carry because we have sinned. We know Jesus in that upper room promised to send us the Holy Spirit fulfilling God’s promise to change our hearts. We know those passages where God tells us he will never forsake us nor abandon us. We know well those passages were we are told to seek the Kingdom of God first and then we are to ask and it will be done for us. We know these promises and definitive statements of God but do we trust the promises of God enough to allow God to fulfill those promises? MI believe ingrained in us an instinct of self determination that moves us to make sure we are doing our part to make sure we receive or earn the things God desires to freely give us. It is not that we do not trust God but at the same time our actions do not indicate a willingness to wait for God to work within us. Yet the scriptures are clear when Jesus tells us “I am the vine and you are the branches apart from me you can do nothing.” We know God invites us to “seek him and his way of holiness.” However, we still go out and strive to be holy according to our definition of what holiness looks like.
Today’s gospel paints for us a picture of how busy we can get in our daily quest for self fulfillment including holiness. It also shows us how our not understanding how God has already provided for our self fulfillment and spiritual growth causes us to miss out on attaining the very things we seek.
God has made possible not only the forgiveness of our sins but has promised to open our eyes and minds so we see and understand righteousness is ours by us accepting the invitation to embrace Jesus. Like the centurion at the foot of the cross we must acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and all that was offered to us by his life, death and resurrection.
There is a passage in the book of Revelation that tells us “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me.” This invitation is clear in that we must make a move to invite him into our lives. However, we have a Martha mentality when it comes to Jesus. We stand before him and get busy doing what we think is necessary to serve him when all he desires is to serve us. Jesus admonishes Martha and tells her all that is required is to allow him to speak to our hearts and it is there where we will find the blessings we so desperately seek.
We are a tremendously gifted and spiritual people who are seeking to do what is right in the eyes of God. Martha was exactly that way and so were the people in today’s gospel who were invited to the wedding feast. The issue is we are doing good things for good reasons but have we taken the time to first receive the blessings God has offered us by the death of Jesus. He has offered us more than the forgiveness of sins; he is offering us the freedom of knowing and feeling his love lavished upon us.
The wedding feast is an allegory of the “banquet of the Lamb” which we have before us each and every Sunday we gather. We are invited to allow that feast to not only satisfy our deepest hunger but to fill our hearts with joy. We are invited to dance with the king of kings and jump into his arms and call him Abba. We are invited to allow what God offers us to change our hearts so that like Mary we know the mind of God and go out and live it each day.
What God is telling us in this parable is that we must show up and do more than take what is offered. God is telling us we must come with our hearts prepared by clothing ourselves in Christ by his invitation to come dine with him before we go to the banquet. We must allow Jesus to reveal the Fathers mind, his heart and the Father’s desire to lavish his love upon us. We must allow Jesus to clothe us with the power of the Holy Spirit so that we will not only grow in holiness but we will have revealed to us all we need to serve the kingdom of God.
It all begins with us accepting the invitation and to show up ready to take part in the Master’s joy because we have allow the death of Jesus to clothe us in righteousness and the Holy Spirit clothe us in power and to change us in the manner the Spirit changed those in that upper room at Pentecost.