A Lesson from the Wee Hours of the Night
The lesson at our youth group (Rebels of Faith) “sleep over” was on Jesus’ parable of the Wedding Feast. It is a familiar story, which can be a problem because sometimes when we become familiar with something we lose sight of the significance of it. So, watching the lesson and thinking about how to help the kids relate to it was helpful in that it forced me to keep it fresh.
2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn’t want to come.
4 Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, ‘Tell those who are invited: Look, I’ve prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet. ’ 5 “But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. 7 The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city.
8 “Then he told his slaves, ‘The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore, go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ 10 So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests.
11 But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
WHAT IF NO ONE COMES?
There are a lot of ways to approach this text, but tonight (and this morning) I’ve been focusing on what it would be like to put together something as significant as a wedding celebration—all the cost and effort involved in that—and have no one care enough to attend. It would leave the bride and groom devastated. I have been to weddings that were sparsely attended for one reason or another. Sometimes that’s part of the plan, but other times circumstances have interfered and though many invitations were sent few were able (or willing) to attend.
As disappointed and hurt as a couple might be in that circumstance, I can’t imagine the heart-break that God feels on a daily basis as those He has invited to enter into a relationship with Him repeatedly turn their backs on Him and reject His invitation. That’s the story in this parable. God has made the invitation to all human-kind, but so few have been willing to respond.
The reasons might be many, and some might even start to sound sensible or practical, but all ring somewhat hollow when measured against the depth and bredth of the love of God that prompts the invite.
- For some they might think it is inconvenient
- For others they might consider themselves too busy
- Others might be concerned that too many things would change
- Some might be reluctant to accept or believe all the claims of Christ
Everything is Taken Care Of
The other truth that contrasts these responses is that God has done everything needed to make our attendance at His celebration possible. All we need to do is RSVP. Did you catch that…Everything is taken care of! If we are willing to come He is ready to receive. I love going on trips or two events where everything is taken care of for us. It’s incredibly relaxing to leave everything in someone else’s capable hands. This is the scope of God’s invitation. All the details are handled by Him.
Variety of Lessons
There are, as I mentioned, a number of different lessons you can pull from this passage of Scripture. What do you see there? What things stand out to you? Most importantly, do you see the impact God’s love and grace can have if we respond to His invitation?
Dave “Big D” Bentley