First of all, I am going to ask you to read Luke, Chapter 14, verses 15-24. I believe that the “Parable of the Great Feast” told by Jesus certainly requires introspection on our part.
Like the master in Luke, our Heavenly Father has prepared a great banquet for all of us. We are invited into relationship with Him and experience a foretaste of this great eternal feast every time we share the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But, have we given sufficient thought to our response to this gracious invitation? We are often so busy, concerned about the completion of our daily tasks that this invitation gets lost in the shuffle. We find it so easy to make excuses similar to the ones mentioned in this parable to justify missing a worship service, not serving on a committee, or dedicating sufficient time for prayer and study of the Bible. May the Holy Spirit guide us to live Christ-centered lives and remind us that we have been assured a seat at the banquet table by the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
But there is certainly more to this invitation. The invitation to God’s feast is not only for us, but is one that is meant to be shared with others. Like the servant in this parable, our charge is to reach out to all of God’s people—the poor, the sick, and those in need—as all are welcomed at the banquet table. In the verses preceding this parable, Jesus says that we should not invite those who can return the favor, but rather, invite those from whom you do not expect anything in return as you will be blessed. Like the servant, we are asked to proactively search far and wide to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone. We can invite others to Christ by how we present ourselves. Maybe it is as simple as our daily words and actions, or how we profess our faith in God to others, or in our willingness to invite someone to attend worship or a church event. This is exactly what Jesus meant when he told the disciples to make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I truly enjoyed preparing this message, but do not claim to understand this parable completely or have all of the answers. One thing that I am sure of is that our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally,and desires that every place is filled at the eternal banquet table. May we always be mindful of the loving invitation that God has set before us, keeping Him at the center of our lives, and having a willingness to share this gracious invitation with others.
Jim Williams, elder
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