March 11, 2008

You Are Invited

Matthew 22:1-14

“But they refused to come …”
Matthew 22:3


Teaching was such an important part of Jesus’ ministry that he taught in the temple area even during the last week of his life. There Jesus told a parable about a wedding banquet that presented a picture of the kingdom of God. In this story we can picture God himself as the one who invites us to a feast. The fact that God invites us is an amazing mystery. But an even greater mystery is that some people say no to God’s invitation.

I remember an elderly couple who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house. A bit anxiously they wondered, “What if nobody shows up?” Or maybe you are someone who has plans to marry soon. You’ve sent out invitations to family and friends to join you in your celebration. But what if most of them decline? Well, that’s what happens in Jesus’ parable. In another version of this parable, Jesus says, “They all alike began to make excuses” (Luke 14:18).

The Bible is filled with God’s invitations. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). And “whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).

Are you making excuses to decline God’s invitations? If so, please reconsider. Come and enjoy life “to the full” in God’s presence (John 10:10).

Lord, forgive us for making excuses and putting off your invitation as the highest priority in our lives. May we come to your feast with joy, knowing that full life is with you. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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