One day last December, an invitation to a Christmas party arrived in our mailbox. Inside the card were a festive holiday greeting, a time and date, and a handwritten invitation saying, "We're having a party; hope you can come." We were delighted. There was only one problem: there was no signature, no RSVP number, and no return address on the envelope. We had no idea who had invited us to come to their Christmas party.
As we thought about what to do, we had this nightmarish thought: what if they made the same mistake on all the invitations they sent out? We imagined this poor couple preparing for a partysprucing up the house all week and working busily in the kitchen to make Christmas goodies. Finally, the big day comes, and they are eager for that appointed hour when guests will flood their home with holiday cheer. They wait and wait. Nobody comes. The time passes when even the latest "fashionably-late" guest would ever arrive. Imagine throwing a party and having nobody show up. What could be more awful?
The King's gracious invitation
Now imagine a king preparing a partynot just any party, but a wedding banquet for his own son. This is what Jesus says the kingdom of God is like. Nowhere do we see the revolutionary character of Jesus Christ more clearly than here at the Communion table. Who would ever dream that God's kingdom would be a partya gala to end all galasto which we are invited?
How strange Jesus' words must have sounded to the people back then. Nobody then thought of the kingdom of God as a party. In fact, John the Baptist thought of God's kingdom as a great military confrontation, a grinding holocaust in which the powers of light would obliterate the powers of darkness. The Pharisees ...
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