Date:
20 Sep 1999
Time:
01:13:54

Comment

The text is a week late - but the wedding celebration seems such a marvellous text for World Communion Sunday.....


Date:
21 Sep 1999
Time:
00:15:08

Comment

Ah, every Sunday is communion Sunday - a time of being with God and with one another to hear the word and to offer the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. Don't let the ritual get in the way of the depth of the gift of Sunday (first day: creation, resurrection, pentecost, holy eucharist)

tom in ga


Date:
29 Sep 1999
Time:
01:48:10

Comment

Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." For many are called, but few are chosen."

This seems to be the most disturbing part of the pericope. I sure would be tempted to end the text at the 10th verse. But alas, one must deal with the whole of the Word.

Pilgrim


Date:
29 Sep 1999
Time:
02:55:12

Comment

Dear Pilgrim:

This may help: I am giving you the EXACT greek inflection of the words in Matt.

"Few" Matt 7:14; 9:37; Luke 10:2; 13:23; 1 Peter 3:20 "Invited, Called" Rom 1:6; Rev 17:14 "Chosen" is only found in Matt 22:14, the exact inflection that is...

Read those verses and its changes this attitude of all acceptance...The king did NOT accept the one without a wedding garment...or should I say ONES....

In grace,

LJC


Date:
01 Oct 1999
Time:
15:05:26

Comment

My understanding is that Matthew or whoever put this gospel together combined two wedding stories. The first is the one about those who did not accept the invitation (the Jewish leaders?) and hence the gathering in of those off the street. The second begins at verse 11 and is about those who come to the feast uprepared without the robe. Otherwise, why would they throw out one who was just dragged in off the street for not being properly dressed?

Having said that, I believe we also need to deal with the text as it is, because Matthew had a point to make. The point for us should start with accepting the King's (Christ's) invitation, and also taking the time to be properly robed (prepared) for the Kingdom.

I would welcome further dialogue about this.

Don in NC


Date:
01 Oct 1999
Time:
17:02:13

Comment

Dear Friends,

One book that I highly recommend (in fact, I think I found out about it on this web site) is The Social Science Commentary of the Synoptic Gospels by Malina and Rohrbaugh. I offer this information to this discussion:

"The King would have proper garments ready for the non-elites coming to the banquet. Yet the king spots a person who does not put on the garments provided, thus shaming the king. The result predictably is that the improperly garbed man is shamed by being thrown out by the attendants."

Also,

"Meals in antiquity were what anthropologists call 'ceremonies.' Unlike 'rituals', which confirm a change of status, ceremonies are regular, preditable events in which roles and satuses in a community are affirmed or legitimated. In other words, the mirocosm of the meal is parallel to the macrocosm of everyday social relations. The Gospel of Matthew lacks the many small hints about the importance of behaviour at meals typical of Luke.

Though meals could include people of varying social ranks, mornally that did not occur except under special cercumstances. Because eating together implied sharing a common set of ideas and values, and frequently a common social position as well, it is important to ask: Who eats with whom? How is the food prepared? When does one eat? etc. Answering such questions tells us much about the social relatons a meal affirms."

Jewish people would not eat with ordinary people ( natives of Palestine, the Canaanites.) Such people could not be trusted to provide tithed food. If they invited such a person to their own home, they required the guest to put on a tirually clean garment which the host provide.

Lastly, People coming from East, west, south, north is a statement of inclusive Christian social relations, with the shaming of the "heirs of the kingdom" who reject the invitation. The refusal of thos first invited to the great banquet is similarly a statement of social exclusivism among the elite, while the invitations to everyone you find are evidence of inclusive Christian social practives that are reflected in their meals.

I know this is long, but I hope it is helpful.

Kelly in Alberta


Date:
03 Oct 1999
Time:
03:47:20

Comment

This begs the question, "just who is called (welcome, chosen, invited . . . etc) into the kingdom of heaven?" I am wondering what this text says about how we include or exclude individuals from worship and communion? It is clearly troubling that the one who could be "the least of these" seems to get the raw deal. I am struggling with how to piece this one togheter.

DWR


Date:
03 Oct 1999
Time:
07:18:26

Comment

This New Zealand theology lecturer again finds myself having to preach on a highly questionable text. The most questionable thing is how on earth to relate a "worldly" king and kingdom (let alone the wierd behaviour of THIS king with respect to the insoluble wedding garment issue which is always offensive to any thoughtful listener to this bible passage) with anything to do with Jesus, who (like most of the prophetic tradition) had no good words to say about worldy forms of power, including that exercised by Herod and Caesar and Caiaphas.

I'm making this initial comment as I begin (perhaps like many other preachers) to get ready a few days ahead of time for next Sunday. I may have it wrong but I see these "contributions" as being usefully dialogical so that isolated preachers don't have to stew uncreatively.

The nicest thing about the reading is that it's about a wedding which, like sowing reaping fishing etc is a great activity when it goes well. I think I could say some useful sermon things about that alone but that's not really addressing the reading which all the congregations will have heard - hopefully attentively.

I'll be ransacking the commentaries and will report on them here but I have been so often disappointed that the commentators don't seem to have the same questions in mind as I do! George Armstrong


Date:
03 Oct 1999
Time:
22:57:55

Comment

Dear All,

One thought on what at first blush seems enigmatic.

It's not, of course, about clothing -- it's about preparation. The metaphor speaks of those who hear a call and refuse to tend to it, as well as those who hear a call, and tend to it lightly (the reading two weeks ago has the same thread, with the son who says "yes" and does not go, and the one who says "no" but does go).

"For many are called, but few are chosen," says the evangelist, giving explanation to the status of the poorly garbed invitee. It's possible, as I see it, to be called, and to respond to the call, but perhaps incompletely, insufficiently or even insincerely, hence, hearing a tug but not "being chosen".

This plays out in many denominations, though I would guess not all, by the notion that calls (to ordained ministry in particular) must first be "heard" or "felt" by the individual, and then "verified" or "validated" by the community of faith in which the individual resides. Verse fourteen will be read in my parish, therefore, whether correctly or incorrectly, as "for many feel called, but few are chosen".

Peace to all,

Jim


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
12:49:39

Comment

As I look at this text first I see a story that doesn't seem to make sense. Violent treatment and degradation come to those fail to please the host. Yet in both cases the guests showed no honor to the host who had invited them to something special, something planned, a celebration of love. The host had every right to defend his honor when the guest chose to belittle the hosts wishes.

I know this parable is about Pharsee's and the people first chosen, the Jews. It's about what Jesus was doing as he invited those who most thought were unworthy of the kingdom of God. But is this story more?

I believe it is. I see this story as a view into the planning God has done. The invitations have changed but the event is still the same. It is a party filled with joy welcome to all. The guests are freely given everything as long as they show respect and honor the host deserves. After all who's party is it anyway. Righteousness is the key here if you want to last long enough to see the toast. "Not my will, but thy will be done."

KB lets party!..=)


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
13:43:32

Comment

Isn't this the third parable Jesus offers in reply to the question, "by what authority do you do what you do?" How does the context of the parable (not the meaning of the parable in and of itself) make a difference in our understanding of it? I wonder what the parable says about God, from whom Jesus got his authority.

Just getting started . . .

ml in pa


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
16:00:07

Comment

"it's not, of course, about clothing -- it's about preparation. The metaphor speaks of those who hear a call and refuse to tend to it, as well as those who hear a call, and tend to it lightly (the reading two weeks ago has the same thread, with the son who says "yes" and does not go, and the one who says "no" but does go). " "Peace to all Jim"

In light of "Kelly in Alberta's" earlier post, and with what Jim has to say hers, I do believe that "preparation" in light of God's call to us for ministry (lay/ordained not the issue here) is what I hear in this parable.

In light of the triad of parables, once again it is the Judiac leader's rejection of Jesus that seems to be continually in the undercurrent.

As I see it, as it related to you and me in the pew "What are you gonna do when God calls?" Heed, accept, or reject.

This deep in Matthew's Gospel, his narrative is drawing the reader/listener to the crucial point which leads to Jesus' condemnation and death.

Issues that I'm working with right now, at this point of preparation are these:

1. Our acceptance/rejection of our call from God. 2. consequences of our rejection (condemnation? damnation?, being "cast out" of away from God's presence? 3. our own need for "discipleship preparation", eg. serious Bible study, mission works, prayer and meditation

These are just the early thoughts? What do you DPS'ers think?

BRS in WI


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
16:04:08

Comment

A thought for ALL:

Failure to SEE the obvious...

Today, in our world, we have all seen this sign,

NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO ENTER

Although this sign is found in "eating places" it tells the whole story..

Is Jesus saying, NO FAITH, NO SPIRIT, EJECTION!!!

In grace,

LJC


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
16:52:06

Comment

How do you relate the God/King of this parable with the God of the OT passage this week. The people give up their wealth and their fealty to a golden calf. God is set on destroying the idolators (throwing them out into the darkness) but Moses talks God out of it, reminding God that his mercy is paramount? Kind of an interesting switcheroo from the usual OT/NT stereotypes, don't you think?

Jane in Lenox


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
17:01:18

Comment

Hi Folk-

I'm trying to think of a good story to work into the children's homily this sunday with this text in mind. Any suggestions?

Julie at ANTS


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
17:35:48

Comment

I remember hearing in seminary many years ago an opposite take on: "For many are called, but few are chosen." The "Chosen" was term with which Jews set themselves in a special place. The king is not limited to calling only "CHosen." Rather than limiting those who may be received, this statement understood this way is a justification of his calling all who would come!

What do you think?

Brian in Buffalo


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
19:15:56

Comment

Is this not a parable about conversion - all are called, but few are chosen? Indeed, is not the wedding robe a symbol for the baptismal gown.

How can we be christians and remain the same? Help.

tom in ga


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
20:36:43

Comment

Friends

I'm reading the text a bit differently. Rather than focusing on the "extra" parable fragment (improperly clothed), I'm drawn to the question: "What if we built a church and nobody came?" In the text, the king (God) is celebrating the wedding of his son (Christ). The invited guests (Chosen People/Israel) choose to reply (and not even "with regrets!). This is embarrassing to the king (those of 1C AD would know that a party in the community is a must-do event), so rather than have a no-show event, the king opens the doors to others (the disenfranchised, Gentiles, tax collectors, and the rest of us). So, too, is the kingdom of God opened not only to the Chosen People, but, through the New Covenant in Christ, to all of us.

I will probably acknowledge the fact that there are 2 parables here, and that I am chosing to focus only on one of them, rather than try to reconcile all of the pericope at one time (there are, of course, many more lectionary cycles to come <grin>). Also, the passage fits quite well with the Isa 25 OT selection, which we are also using.

I agree with the previous poster who said this is a troubling text. As a seminarian serving my internship in a large, politically-asute, wealthy congregation, I find this doubly challenging. Your comments are, of course, welcome!

Yours in Christ Vicar Art


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
22:05:36

Comment

04 OCT 99

All this "clothing" talk has me going... How about "The Emperor's Cloths"? I need to review that one as there may be some "adult sized" allusions too. Jim has linked the clothes and the call. Looks to be textual. The scriptures (especially Paul) have many images of "clothing oneself or being clothes" w/ armor, etc, or allusions to baptism as clothing (and cf. baptismal garments. See Rom. 13:12, Gal. 3:27, Eph. 4:24, 6:11). And the "forgiving father" welcomes the prodigal son with a party and... a lovely robe! How about Joseph's robe? Whew! And how about the notion that "clothes make the man/woman"? Is Christ concerned about our outward appearance? MUST we dress to the hilt for worship? Hmm, I prefer to "put on my best" but tell that to a teenager. Someone can do better than this, but how about the Micah (6) reference on what God requires: Sacrifice? "Burnt offerings"? How about doing justice, loving kindness, walking with God. We're invited to Christ's banquet. The "proper cloths" we put on will be our joyous response and fruit production, so impressed we are with God's inclusive, overwhelming grace. Peter in CA


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
22:17:46

Comment

Hi Kelly in Alberta,

Good to hear from you! I'm wondering if there's a tie-in with Thanksgiving in what you have posted (for our non-Canadian friends, this Monday is Thanksgiving Day). It seems an appropriate text considering the number of folks sitting down to rather grand tables this weekend.....

We have intergenerational worship and are straying from the lectionary, but after reading your post, I wondered.........

Blessings, SueCan


Date:
04 Oct 1999
Time:
23:16:18

Comment

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, Guiltie of lust and sinne. But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer me, sweetly questioning, If I lack'd any thing.

A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here: Love said, you shall be he. I the unkinde, ungrateful? Ah my deare, I cannot look on thee. Love took my hand, and smiling did reply, Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame Go where it doth deserve. And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame? My deare, then I will serve. You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat: So I did sit and eat.

< Father George Herbert >

tom in ga


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
02:19:12

Comment

I can only conclude that since many were dragged in from the streets but only one did not have on the proper attire, that there is something being said here about how important it is to act and dress appropriately. Just maybe there is something here about how terribly important the way we act really is. Even the exodus reading has some strong words about "stiff necked" people.

Certainly we are living in a day of great self-centeredness. We seem to be losing a sense of civility from our culture, at least in part because we are so wrapped up in ourselves.

Could there be a basis for a sermon here?

Rev. Bob


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
02:45:45

Comment

Ok, so I cheated! I read ahead and saw the party connection in all three text, Exodus, Matthew and Isaiah..... and used the connection for world communion Sunday.

Exodus - the party we throw with our lives, would we be comfortable if God dropped by.... but thanks to Moses persuasion God comes in mercy.

Matthew - the party God throws for us. three trou


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
03:04:16

Comment

Sorry, this is the rest of the above entry ( i am key challenged tonight) Matthew - the party God throws for us. Three troubling aspects.... why would invited guests choose not to attend ( why do people chose not to live in the kingdom?) Why does the host destroy the unattending guests? (to participate in the kingdom is life, to chose not to is .......death.Responding to the invitation has eternal consequences.) And then there's that ghastly matter of the poor guy in the flannel shirt at a black tie affair. Somehow everyone else gets properly attired, I've learned not to worry about explaining the details of the story. Will Willamon has a great quote in his material for this week in Pulpit Resource. Jan Karski worked with the Polish underground during WWII. He discovered the horror of the ghettos and extermination camps in Poland. He escaped to report to the western world the horrors,though they were incomprehensible to those he told. He disappeared afterward to be discovered many years later by one who was researching the holocaust. Asked why he had disappeared from public view after such heroic work. He gave two reasons for this: one a whole generation of people had been raised who would again be unable to comprehend the prejudice and the hate. Second he talked about how at the end of life God would meet you and ask for a report on the condition of your soul. You were given one at birth, now that your body is gone, what is the condition of your soul. Our soul is our attire for the party. Not something the maitre'd can pull out of the drawer for us. But we have to show up with it. "What good is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul?' Isaiah gives us an image of the final/complete feast. Ann in Louisiana


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
03:34:29

Comment

Peter in CA - your musings about clothing have reminded me of Romans 13:14. Paul writes, "Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." Put on Christ! I think that wedding robe is Christ. All are invited into the kingdom, into the banquet, but it is through Christ that we enter. In the Gospel of John, the illustration is of the sheep & the gate, but the message is the same. "I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture." John 10:9. Jesus is the way, the gate, the robe that allows one to enter the kingdom. All are invited into the banquet (and we as servants of Christ are sent out to do the inviting) - and the way in is through Christ by the grace of God. JG in NJ


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
05:17:45

Comment

This is one of those great paradoxical stories Christ is always laying on us. To grasp the unexpected turn, one had to deal with the explusion of the man who was not in wedding clothes--because just before that, the servants are called to gather everyone in, good and BAD (vs 22) Everyone, except this man, was wearing the wedding garment. I think (without researching) Barbara Brown Taylor says this could be a parable which says the outside must match the inside. What we say, act and do must match our Christian heart and soul. Otherwise, perhaps our heart and soul is not as Christian as we thought, if our Christian faith doesn't prompt a response. The wedding robe was the gift of the king which the man, in his free will, refused. Auggie in TN


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
05:59:03

Comment

to all:

Want to know the meaning of this parable???

Go visit the discussion site and read SueCan..

Meaning real plain...

In grace,

LJC


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
06:02:22

Comment

to all,

Want to know the meaning of this parable???

Go to the discussion site and read SueCan...

In grac,

LJC


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
07:20:39

Comment

My time with the children will involve me telling them "we are all invited to a party. I have the invitation and will read it to you".

Just as I begin to read the traditional version of The Apostles' Creed, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and . . .", a man from the congregation will come forward interrupting me say, "You are wrong, you are wrong! There is no belief here, only hard work and unhappy people.

I will respond, "sir we have all been invited to believe. Do you believe?". He states, "Yes, I know of the invitation. I've been invited but, I'm not going, I don't believe in God as the maker of heaven and earth, (he begins to walk out the center isle as he finishes his statement - exits) I don't believe in Jesus Christ as God's only son, and I don't believe in the Holy Spirit and I'm not going to any dumb party!

I call to him, "do you know that Jesus loves you and that Jesus wants you to have a life with Him as your friend?" No response from the man. "Children, I don't think everyone believes that Jesus is our friend. That man sure did not. What do you think?"

Then I'll collect the children's comments and pray God's wisdom to respond in God's wisdom. We'll share a prayer, including prayers for all who do not believe and thank God for giving us Jesus as a friend in which to believe.

Immediately following the children's time, the congregation will share in The Apostles' Creed.

Praising God In Wisconsin

----<----<--<({@

Rose


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
13:25:50

Comment

Don't know if many of you are familiar with a song from the 60's.... we used it in our congregations then.... it is still good.

The Wedding Banquet.....Str Miriam Therese Winter 1965

I can not come I can not come to the banquet don't trouble me now I have married a wife I have bought me a cow. I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum. Pray hold me excused, I can not come.

Not sure if it is any denominational song book, hymnal at this point. You can find it in "Sound of Living Waters" songbook

A guitarist, keyboard.....children or adults can sing it fine..... I find it works well to have the people shout out "I CAN NOT COME!" each time.

if you want more information.... drop me a note

donaldhoff@aol.com

donhoff,elmira


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
13:29:15

Comment

As always, your comments have been challenging. First, thanks to Jane for her revealing the God of OT/NT switch! What a great springboard.

The book that I use for Matthew is Preaching Through Matthew by Robert Luccock. His comments reflect much of those found in the contributions. And he adds a few other remarks. First, Dante's Inferno might include this man, as well as the man in MT 25 -- the servant who buried the talent with no dividend. Tieing these two storied together might be interesting. Second, if this code is a life code, than what does MATTHEW (not us, using isegesis!!) describe as a proper life code -- Luccock argues it is three things, as found in Mt 4 and 5: 1) Repent, 2) Rejoice in your new life, and 3) live a Righteous life.

Here is where I have difficulty. The parable is told to the Pharisees. If I remember correctly, it was the Pharisees who sought to live an ethical life, and it was the Sadducees who were the legalists. So, even those who were living an ethical life were not meeting Jesus' standards? UH OH!!! And me, the liberal, do-gooder. What in the hell do I do now? (I choose my wording intentionally in this context).

InterfaithREVinMN


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
14:10:51

Comment

REVinMN:

Might be good timing, since you live in a state where the governor said, Christian[faith] is for weakminded, crutch needing ones...

One very important point and only point of Jesus has nothing to do with all this christian church thing...or how we act as a christian..

Jesus is chiding a nation of people who God prepared for thousands of years for the coming messiah...They wont dress for the ocassion and then act dumb found...

Please get off of this kick that THIS parable has anything to do with conduct today...That history cannot be repeated...The only repeat history will be the Messiah coming in the clouds in GLORY....

Get real out there....smile

In grace,

LJC


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
14:44:03

Comment

I keep gravitating toward the final word in the text this week, CHOSEN. Who is doing the choosing in the story? And to what end? And what, pray tell, is the real difference between "called" and "chosen"? It seems to me that the first people in the story were "chosen", the people off the street were "called". So which is better?

Still more questions than answers, but it's only Tuesday.....

Bo in KY


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
16:40:21

Comment

BO,

29 Sep 1999 Time: 02:55:12

Comment

This may help: I am giving you the EXACT greek inflection of the words in Matt.

"Few" Matt 7:14; 9:37; Luke 10:2; 13:23; 1 Peter 3:20 "Invited, Called" Rom 1:6; Rev 17:14 "Chosen" is only found in Matt 22:14, the exact inflection that is...

Read those verses and its changes this attitude of all acceptance...The king did NOT accept the one without a wedding garment...or should I say ONES....

In grace,

LJC


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
18:21:39

Comment

05 OCT 99

Hans Christian Anderson's "THe Emperor's New Clothes" can be found (among other places, of course) in "The Book of Virtues". Commentator Bennett puts it under the category of "Honesty"; one could also apply lessons in fixation on the superficial and more. I may "dress down" for the occasion (we're pretty "liturgical" in my congregation, usually alb, stole, etc and rarely suit with clergy shirt). I could play with the paradox (as someone has said) of being graciously invited but then acknowleging the invitation in appropriate response ("fruits"). Long, in the Westminister Bible Companion puts it like this: "...to come into the Church in response to the gracious, altogether unmerited invitation of Christ and then not conform one's life to that mercy is todemonstrate spiritual narcissism so profound that one cannot tell the difference between the wedding feast of the Lamb of God and happy hour in a bus station bar."

Peter in CA


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
21:20:34

Comment

_BLANK_ Happens

This text really reminds me of a comic strip I once saw. There was a line of people standing in front of the pearly gates and Peter at a desk. All were standing there so pious, and there was one in line that had on one of those shirts that says, S___ Happens. The caption read, "Can I Go back and change my shirt?"

If the man had really thought God was coming he would have changed his shirt. But it happened in an instant, --almost as if it were an accident. But God had already decided the chosen before the creation of the world. "Many are called but few are chosen."

Yes this was directed the Pharisees, and any and all who rejected the name of Jesus Christ. Though if we were to only preach on how terrible those disbelievers we would be preaching to the chorus and we would be doing a great disservice to our people. We share in the plight of the man standing there without the white robe. For there are times when we take our life of faith and Christ for granted, and there are times we live as the one with the X-rated shirt.

A sermon topic that comes to mind might be "The beauty and the beast" RevRon


Date:
05 Oct 1999
Time:
22:19:36

Comment

God has acted, we have been invited to the party, grace has already come, the feast is prepared all is ready, the gift of new life is offered to us now.

All that remains is my response. The person who comes without the right clothes is the same as those who were too busy with their own lives to respond to the King. Yes, this is our story, we are so busy trying to interpret this passage that we don't have time to live in the present (the place of feasting and rejoicing)

tom in ga


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
00:05:54

Comment

Another song suggestion: "Gather Us In" (Marty Haugen; G.I.A Publications) ... I used the text last week, but since (as noted above) this is the third in a series of parables Jesus is using to make the same point (who's in and who's out isn't your job, it's God's!) to the same people (chief priests and elders in the Temple) it seems to work again.

Here in this place, new light is shining; Now is the darkness vanished away See in this space our fears and our dreamings, Brought here to you in the light of this day. Gather us in the lost and forsaken; Gather us in the blind and the lame; Call to us now, and we shall awaken, We shall arise at the sound of our name.

We are the young, our lives are a myst’ry, We are the old who yearn for your face. We have been sung throughout all of hist’ry; Called to be light to the whole human race. Gather us in the rich and the haughty; Gather us in the proud and the strong; Give us a heart so meek and so lowly, Give us the courage to enter the song.

Here we will take the wine and the water, Here we will take the bread of new birth. Here you shall call your sons and your daughters; Call us anew to be salt for the earth. Give us to drink the wine of compassion; Give us to eat the bread that is you; Nourish us well and teach us to fashion; Lives that are holy and hearts that are true.

Not in the dark of buildings confining; Not in some heaven light years away; But here in this place the new light is shining; Now is the kingdom, now is the day. Gather us in and hold us forever; Gather us in and make us your own; Gather us in all peoples together; Fire of love in our flesh and our bone.

Blessings, Susan in SanPedro


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
00:52:31

Comment

I am curious as to why the text includes that "the man was speechless." Did he think that he was able to wear just what he wanted to wear? This assumes the king provided robes, rings, for all the guests-the garments of faith. Did he seek to provide his own garments that looked like the others? Maybe he refused the garments provided for all the good and the bad so as not to be identified with them. I want what Jesus offers but I don't to mess with Jesus... type of thinking. Are we as American Christians going to the banquet on our terms? Ouch! Instead of being speechless, pray as I do, "Lord I believe, help my unbelief!"

chuck in iowa


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
02:23:50

Comment

Dear Friends, it's only Tuesday and already the discussion is so fruitful! Thanks to all, especially to those who provided us with songs!

I want to ask again a question asked by ml in pa: >I wonder what the parable says about God, from whom Jesus got his authority.< I'd love to hear some thoughts about what this story tells us about God, who God is, what God is like. (The Exodus passage does that beautifully!) I'm not as moved by stories that tell us how we are supposed to act. Anyone else on this wave length? kbc in sc


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
09:34:01

Comment

Found a good commentary: Douglas R A Hare on Matthew (1993, John Knox Press, pages 237 ff.). Asked ominously "by what authority do you act", Jesus answers with three parables (four if you count the question about the tax money to Caesar) and this wedding feast is one of them. Ominous because these are politically loaded pre-trial questions. Under dangerous attack, Jesus gives as good - or better - than he gets. Here I'm expanding (with apols to Hare). Kings, especially Herodian ones, behave bizarrely at wedding and other State banquets, like beheading prophets as a sort of after-dinner speech; or arranging during hors d'oevres to despatch political enemies (who'd made a treasonable point of not loyally attending the Royal Command performance) to his own private gas chambers, or send the red berets off to massacre holy innocent babies who might threaten the royal succession - the picture is all there from Gospel vignettes. And Jesus' (and later Matthew's) audience (they weren't stupid) knew all about royal feasting and plotting and crucifying. So Jesus has their entire attention. So how come such disgusting royal behaviour could possibly have anything to do with Matthew's "Kingdom of Heaven". Watch this space. GA from NZ


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
10:54:15

Comment

Many are thawed, but few are frozen.


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
11:33:58

Comment

The King's behavior is justified ... but harsh. Those who decline the invitation are rude. The conduct of the guests is inexcusable. Ultimately, it seems, it is the PARTY ...the wedding... that matters. Love prevails in spite of rules, rudeness, social norms, and difficult lectionary texts.


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
11:53:15

Comment

_BLANK_ Happens

This text really reminds me of a comic strip I once saw. There was a line of people standing in front of the pearly gates and Peter at a desk. All were standing there so pious, and there was one in line that had on one of those shirts that says, S___ Happens. The caption read, "Can I Go back and change my shirt?"

If the man had really thought God was coming he would have changed his shirt. But it happened in an instant, --almost as if it were an accident. But God had already decided the chosen before the creation of the world. "Many are called but few are chosen."

This text was directed at the Pharisees, and any and all who rejected the name of Jesus Christ. Though if we were to only preach on how terrible those disbelievers we would be missing its' claim on us.

The feast speaks of Gods election and His pure Gospel. Electen not earned, completly free Grace! Our response should be forthcoming because it truly free. We share in the plight of the man standing there without the white robe. For there are times when we take our life of faith and Christ for granted, and there are times we live as the one with the X-rated T shirt.

RevRon


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
14:31:59

Comment

There is ONLY ONE "sin" the "sin" of Adam.

Jesus is the SECOND Adam.

That "sin" is two fold in UNBELIEF as follows:

1. Adam was given ONE command by God. a. Adam was in UNBELIEF, because he knew and understood that ONE & ONLY command.

2. Thousands of years had pasted and the second Adam came to his OWN people, who knew and understood the command of God. a. These people that the parable are speaking about are the very ones in UNBELIEF, just as the first Adam was.

Therefore, MANY are FROZEN, but FEW are THAWTED.

Frozen in UNBLIEF of direct command of God...

John's message, repent & BELIEVE in the good news.. Jesus' message, repent & BELIEVE in the good news for the kingdom of heaven is HERE....

In grace,

LJC


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
14:32:18

Comment

There is ONLY ONE "sin" the "sin" of Adam.

Jesus is the SECOND Adam.

That "sin" is two fold in UNBELIEF as follows:

1. Adam was given ONE command by God. a. Adam was in UNBELIEF, because he knew and understood that ONE & ONLY command.

2. Thousands of years had pasted and the second Adam came to his OWN people, who knew and understood the command of God. a. These people that the parable are speaking about are the very ones in UNBELIEF, just as the first Adam was.

Therefore, MANY are FROZEN, but FEW are THAWTED.

Frozen in UNBLIEF of direct command of God...

John's message, repent & BELIEVE in the good news.. Jesus' message, repent & BELIEVE in the good news for the kingdom of heaven is HERE....

In grace,

LJC


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
15:59:29

Comment

It's not easy to hear the words of Jesus and know exactly what is expected. There are times when I think I know, and yet things/events/people/community trip me up and suddenly I realize my mis-doings.

As for the guest, how was he to know what the King expected? -- and then it was too late. He was not given a second chance.

Could this be a warning to those who were listening that they are not prepared. "Repent for the Kingdom of God is near." These were the words that began this whole journey to Jerusalem -- and without saying it, Jesus tells us to prepare ourselves for the mystery -- He Will Come Again. Are we prepared for such Good News, the Heavenly Banquet? A banquet, that we all have been called to.

Fr. Sully


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
16:40:59

Comment

Here's a children's sermon idea I just came up with. It's rough, but you can work it up to suit your situation.

Have dress up clothes ready for the kids to put on -dresses, big shirts, hats.... Point out that we wear different kinds of clothes for different occasions.

There is a kids' song that says "Put on love everyday" -- how do we put on love? How do we put on/dress up in Christ, as Romans 13:14 says. (A little bapstimal imagery to pick up on if you wish.)

The point I would be heading toward is that we have to get dressed up as Christians. We have to "put on" love as Christ did. That will help us wherever we are going. We are to "wear " Jesus and his love everyday - not just for church or school - but all the time. Now - how do we do that? (This could go right into the adult sermon!)

As I said, it still a rough idea, but I think you can work with it.

Debra in NE


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
16:44:12

Comment

A couple random thoughts...1st, on "chosen' - Biblicaly, it does not mean picked due to some great worthiness, or especially deserving, or being more special than anyone else....It means that God chooses people for God's purpose - Israel was to be a sign, a, example to the world of a faithful people...not that they were especially deserving when "chosen"...and we might ask ourselves what God chooses US for....Also, the Parable is about the kingdom of Heaven (which is the banquet in it)...how can we describe this 'kingdom" which is so close, so imminent, so "at hand" as Jesus says...what would the quality of our lives be like to bring about this kingdom here, now, as well as in the future, after life...And, per the parable, how are we to make ourselves ready? What are the "robes" we can put on out in response to the invitation to the banquet, to heaven? JZ in CT.


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
20:26:19

Comment

I am not sure about weither the "KIng" providing the robe. Interpreter's Dictionary relates the wedding robe to 'the fine linen of the saints'. Maybe we become unconfortable wearin saintly clothing and not jeans. But is it not still the choice we/I/the church makes? Unconfortableness and faithfulness has it become the same?

Phil in KS


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
20:28:37

Comment

... have you been, like me, watching this space? It's jam-packed with truly desperate people this week so it seems and here's me, yet another one, with only two shopping days (this side of the date line) to Sunday

Could this wild and disgusting king's banquet be like the Hitchhikers' guide to the galaxy; the motorway builders about to bulldoze John Doe's house find that the Galactic Motorway builders are coming up right behind THEM; these arrogant power boys are about to get their own come uppance. The Herodian household (not to mention the Temple Heavies) get crotchety when people refuse their (oft bizarre) "hospitality". But these same bizarre captains and kings have just spurned the hospitality of the King of Kings and don't even realise it. The Kingdom will now be filled with all manner of critters but NOT THEM. These people thought THEY were sitting in judgment on Jesus but the boot is really on the other foot. There will be surprises.

And boy does the peasant audience, fed up to the back teeth with seeing their tax denarii gobbled up by the likes of Herodias and her train - a latter day Jezebel if you like -, does this peasant audience enjoy the joke (especially with the accusers in the front row squirming)!

We still haven't got to the guy without the wedding garment, to the Emperor without real clothes as it were. Now commentator Douglas R A Hare (1993, John Knox) comes to the rescue - very convincing he is too. Matthew, says Hare, is very troubled about the mixed nature of the evangelized crowd around Jesus and in the early (Matthaean) Church: a net full of rotten as well as gleaming fresh fish, a field full of weeds as well as wheat. Matthew (like a lot of us desperate preachers) can barely bear it. He and we long to clean up the whole show, at least to put out a few badly dressed barefooted hippie misfits - how did they get in here anyway? At last Jesus' parable SEEMS to speak for us. The king does the harsh but justifiable thing that we have been longing to do. (Lovingly - of course) he kicks them out into outer darkness. Muffled cheers from us.

But alas has the parable proved too smart for us. It may turn out to be US ZEALOUS PURISTS (who thought we were impeccably orthodoxly suited) who turn out (like the Emperor and his sycophantic crowd) to be naked ie without the truly appropriate wedding garment (the cloth and cut of which is made abundantly clear in other Vogue pattern pages of the New Testament). As Hare says, Matthew is probably marking out the Christian believers in his excommunicating of these un-clothed ones. And this is unusual (says Hare) from Matthew - who often confines themselves to condemning those hard-hearted Temple nasties whom we desperate preachers foam at the mouth about so regularly. So these ones so unsuited for the Kingdom of heaven may be the "Christian" nasties who are so sure of themselves that they are "speechless" at having the tables turned on them. Like the ones who didn't clothe or feed the naked Jesus, they had no idea ... ! ... they just thought the naked one was some no-account bum!

Funny - after this rave - I'm not quite so desperate about my Sunday sermon though I'm not too comfortable about having shot my mouth off amongst such formidable desperate fellow travellers. Good job I'm a long long way away in New Zealand. George Armstrong


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
20:31:06

Comment

Working on this pricope is kinda like working on a block of wood. It seems to me that the issue is primarily about our image of God.

All are invited to share in the feast of God's generosity, restoring us to himself.

But if I believe that God is a divine being who interrupts my life (brings death), or expects me to be other than I am, or who never really answers my prayers anyway, then I will have nothing to do with his invitation, for I will not believe.

The lack of believe is the war or the conflict in the parable. What the king does to those who refuse come come to the feast is simply the logical outcome of their own self excommunication from the King's (Lord's) Table.

However if we have an image of God as hospitable and loving, and who fulfills our lives as we respond to him, make us more truly ourselves, then we will come to the feast. The farm and the business will have little interest.

Now the one who arrives without the proper clothes is very much the same as those who were too preoccupied with their own stuff — at the heart of our response there must be a turning, a conversion, from self toward the other. It is this turning that is known in Philippians as "rejoicing."

tom in ga


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
22:30:45

Comment

Greetings, friends, in the precious name of Jesus, our Lord.

One element in the readings for this Sunday is the heritage of Jewish apocalyptic and its influence on the early church. We could do worse than attempt to recapture for the congregation the spirit of this tradition that has so much to do with Christian origins and still, whether or not we are conscious of the fact, inspires later Christian developments.

At its best, apocalyptic represented a profound act of faith, whether it be considered a natural outgrowth of the prophetic spirit or an elaboration of wisdom doctirne. Its faith and hope were the product of the despair of humankind: precisely when things appeared to be at the very inevitable worst, one might confidently trust in the God who is bound by no human rules and who in human terms can be counted on to be the Lord of the absurd. So apocalyptic encourages the belief in the power of good to triumph over unconquerable evil, and it represents to our human condition the ever immediate possibility of salvation against all odds.

So it is, very plainly, in the picture of the banquet spread by the Lord on the magic mountain of Isaiah's apocalypse. Paul's farewell to the Philippians is uttered within a perspective of imminent apocalyptic fulfillment. Thus we are brought to this gospel passage, which forms part of Matthew's preface to the synoptic apocalypse (Mt. 24 and parallels). There are numerous messianic motifs which have been introduced into the two parables. They, too, derive from apocalyptic, as do the paradoxes of the scene: divine action countering all human expectation, reversal of the proper order of things, surprises on all sides, a call to always expect the unexpected. As in the apocalypse of Mt. 24, the present and future meld into one and the circumstances of the scene (the church and the Jews) are paradigms of the eschatological circumstances (judgment and the would-be-saved). Despite occasional aberrations, the other-worldly apocalyptic that so influenced the church in its beginnings still has meaning for the church in its this-worldly state.

Peace, OKBob


Date:
06 Oct 1999
Time:
23:25:51

Comment

A thought for all:

Does anyone know/understand the difference when the KING is present versus absent?

In grace,

LJC


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
02:25:45

Comment

There is a very good essay in the 9/22 issue of Christian Century. I do not recall the author (my copy is at church so I cannot look it up right now).

The theme of the essay is that in Ex 32 the people are "partying" on their own terms. In Matt 22, the party is on God's terms. the final bit about the wedding robe may have gotten glossed.

Joe in GA


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
12:02:57

Comment

The bit on the wedding robe being glossed (which I presume to mean added or exaggerated in some sense) doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

In fact I think the fact that we are told elsewhere to put on Christ is significant here.

The wedding in many ways represents the church. We are all in attendance because in some way we've been called. But being called isn't enough. We must be properly dressed. As I understand the customs of the times, all wedding party members were given robes to wear by the bridegroom or his family. The undressed man apparently refused to wear his. We have been given Christ as our robe. But some of us refuse to 'put him on'. We come to church, we 'play' church but we refuse to put Christ on. The consequences are horrendous. There are far too many undressed folks in the pews and sadly in my view, in the pulpits. We must teach and preach that Christ is our robe, and to be clothed in Christ is absoulely necessary to fulfill His purposes.

Rick in Va


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
12:26:19

Comment

From Sermon Illustrations, comes an eye-opener. How many need to "re-introduce sin into our vocabulary?" There might be some who are undressed (not clothed in Christ) because they've determined that there is no shame in nakedness, no need for a redeemer. Here's the illustration:

Bishop Kenneth Carder of the United Methodist Church in Tennessee tells the story of an adult Sunday School class in a church that he once pastored in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They objected to prayers of confession in the morning worship. They gave as their objection, the following:

1. We have not done some of the sins that have been mentioned. 2. The prayers imply that we are unworthy of God's love. 3. Confession is negative and the church should promote positive feelings 4. Calling people sinners damages their egos 5. Calling people sinners is judgmental.

Perhaps the word sin is a word that needs to be reintroduced into the vocabulary of the people called Methodists [insert your own church here]. All we have to do is turn on the nightly news to see the devastating effects of sin: overcrowded jails, lonely elderly people, the homeless, a soaring illegitimacy rate, the earth itself poisoned and depleted, economic injustice, and power struggles both nationally and in marriages. Our own personal lives bear the marks of sin from poor decisions that we must all live with.

I read about a talk show recently, in which a young lady had on either side of her a young man. She frankly did not know who was the father of her six-month old child. I observed with curiosity, and some dismay, how all three of them spoke laughingly of their predicament. At the end of the program, DNA testing revealed the true father. All three of them were now in tears and remorse, as the young man who had thought he was the father was proven not to be, and the one who openly claimed that he wanted nothing to do with the child discovered that he was a father. This is the way of sin. All to often it begins as a lark, an adventure, as Eve reaching out for forbidden Fruit, but it always ends up the same--in tears and hurt. That is the nature of sin. It brings only enmity.

If we show up at the King's reception, we had better not be wearing a robe of sin. Nor do we have to. In reality, sin is not the most powerful force . Sin is not the last word. Love is stronger than sin, truth will prevail over falsehood, and light will overpower darkness.

Rick in Va


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
14:22:10

Comment

I think I'll focus on "What's our Job?"

The thing that is expected of the King's subjects is very simple, really. Show up at the party. Put on the garmets of celebration.

On top of that, it is the King's job (and only the King's job)to deal with those who refuse the invitation, and those who don't dress properly.

I don't have to do it. I don't have to get mean, or argumentative, or kick the "bad guys" out of the kingdom. I don't have the responsibility of keeping the wedding feast pure, or standing at the door to keep the inappropriate people out. God will take care of that for me! All I have to do is relax, and enjoy the party. All I have to do is live it up with those other people who have shown up.

Not a bad job, really.

DR


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
14:35:18

Comment

It's about time, Rick. I was beginning to wonder where you were.


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
18:56:52

Comment

I believe the point Rick in VA makes is valid -- sin needs to be addressed from the pulpit, now more than ever. Although a question arises, which maybe better left for the discussion site, but here it goes anyway: Is Christ something to be put on, or is He alive in us from our Baptism and through the partaking of His Body and Blood Sunday after Sunday?

I'm aware this is a slippery distinction, because sin seperates us from the Love of God, but how can we preach sin to those who so faithfully come to recieve reconciliation. Are the people in the pews lost or are they found?

Jesus is definitley telling us to be prepared. Through teaching this parable, he is clearly stating some will be cast out. Yet as we hear His words today, we stand firmly in the shadow of the cross, where we find our Savior. The sight of which we are unable to turn our backs, and therefore unable to deny that our sins are cast out as we stand gazing up; forever washed in His blood at our Baptism.

Fr. Sully


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
19:58:39

Comment

The more I think about it, the less I’m sure this story is talking about sin. I think it’s talking about celebration. Jesus has already fielded questions concerning why he, and his disciples were party animals. His answers dove-tail directly into this parable.

Matthew 11: 18-19 “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Matthew 9: 14-15a “Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they?...”

So, I suspect that Jesus is fielding two kinds of criticism here.

1. Those who wondered why he and his disciples partied so much.

2. Those who wondered why he and his disciples partied with “tax collectors and sinners”

The story answers these two concerns in this way:

1. We’re party animals because we’re at a party. At the King's invitation, we’re celebrating with the bridegroom.

2. We’re partying with these bad people because the King has expressely invited bad people into the party.

The parable goes on to make these two points.

1. If you turn down the invitation to join the celebration, you will be history.

2. If you accept the invitation, but refuse to join in the celebration (won’t wear your party clothes) you’ll be kicked out of the party.

Further, I suspect many Christians and Churches today would fall into this last catagory. Maybe they don’t want to party with the bad people the King has let in. Maybe they don’t like the way the party has been organized. Maybe they just like to groan and complain. Whatever the reason, they won’t wear their party clothes. So they’ve been cast out into the outer darkness, where they weep and gnash their teeth. They don’t know that to join the celebration, they have to be willing to celebrate.

In the immortal words of Bill and Ted: "Party on, dudes".

DR


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
20:18:25

Comment

Could we use this passage to talk about baptism and communion? My congregation is very much in need of some renewal in this area.

It would seem we could associate the wedding banquet with the great marriage feast of the Lamb of God at the end of time (Matt. 8:11 and Rev. 19:9). This would work well with the ancient idea of communion being a foretaste of the feast to come.

We could discuss the garment in terms of baptism and the white robed martyrs who are willing to give their all based on their baptismal commitments.

All are invited in - both good and bad/wheat and tares- but not all are welcome to stay for only some have the garments, only some are willing to live into their baptism.

A personal story from Cliff Charlton that he posted on a Midrash e-mail discussion-

On a recent holiday in Egypt I was intrigued to notice that many men had a cross tattooed on their right hand or wrist. When I asked about this I was told "I am a Christian and carry the mark of my baptism. I cannot greet anyone without declaring my faith!"

extra comment- Matthew is sometimes referred to as the Gospel of Obedience. We only have to look at the sermon on the mount to understand this label.

Peace-- Lisa @ Duke Divinity


Date:
07 Oct 1999
Time:
21:53:58

Comment

Lisa,

Yes, if you would use this text to explain.... Explain Moses' baptism...but NOT Jesus' baptism

Can you put a square peg in a round hole...

Please understand the difference...

In grace,

LJC


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
00:41:02

Comment

Don in NC

you wrote <<The second begins at verse 11 and is about those who come to the feast uprepared without the robe. Otherwise, why would they throw out one who was just dragged in off the street for not being properly dressed? >>

I made the same assumption about the one without the wedding garment... the I realized that no where does the text indicate that he was one dragged off the streets. You can equally assume that he is one who came to the wedding, but didn't have the interest or grace to honor the king by wearing the wedding garment. The wedding garment was provided by the host and was a sign of respect... (seen as a mantle of righteousness). The attutude of those who refused to come( the Jewish leaders of that day, and certain religious individuals today), and this man was indifference to the invitation..(salvation).

Read clarence Jordan's treatment of this in the Cotten Patch Version for an interesting view....king is the governor who gave a party for his party chairman and invited the important dignitaries.. "The big ones were invited, but the little ones got in". I understand that the invitations went to persons carefully selected by their class status..... no more than 2 above or 2 below. Can be seen in the dinner parties and receptions people invite others to. no the king goes to the bottom of the barrel.

How many of us ever gave a party, or had a child married, and folks we expected to come...backed out with lame excuses? how did that make us feel? Embarrased, insulted, angry, rejected, confused? "Forgettaboutit... go call anyone you can find" is what we'd think...at least for a moment.

Missing the invite is serious business! pastordon, elmira


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
03:05:37

Comment

LJC-- MOSES' baptism??????? ??????????????????


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
03:36:51

Comment

And we continue to ponder....

So far this week I've received app. 25 invitations in the mail. I've been invited to accept 12 or so credit cards that will help me out tremendously....at least that's the claim. I've recieved magazine invitations that also carry many promises with them.

I've been invited to many that are just too good to be true.....incredible deals.....

And....."The Kingdom of God is like.....a wedding banquet....where the King, in his generosity, even provides the clothes needed to enter this incredible celebration. Sounds too good to be true!!!

DP in DL


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
03:44:43

Comment

I found reading this through the lens of Paul's theology to be very helpful.

Since we are baptized into Christ, threfore we put on Christ. Likewise, since we have been granted the gift of grace in Christ's spirit, therefore we should live by the spirit.

Is it possible that this parable is simply saying that each all of humanity are called by virtue of the cross, but only those who elect to put on Christ are actually chosen?

The power of this understanding lies in Amos 5, Revelation 3 and James 1 (just to name a few). It is my understanding that clothing was a metaphore for spiritual purity, rightousness, and favor with God. Therefore, the one who was cast out failed to respond in faith to the grace God had extended.

A final note that is worth pondering. I was struck by the fact that God, not the servants, commanded the offender be cast out. When we extend the invitation on Sunday morning, how does that inform our response? Just a thought.

DWR


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
11:56:36

Comment

Here are the words to the Banquet song mentioned earlier -

Peace,

Charlie WOodward

I cannot come! YEE HAW! I cannot come to the banquet, don't trouble me now; I have married a wife, I have bought me a cow, I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum. Pray, hold me excused; I cannot come.

A certain man held a wedding feast on his fine estate in town, He laid a festive table and he wore a wedding gown, He sent invitations to his neighbors far and wide; But when the meal was ready, each of them replied: (chorus)

The master rose up in anger, called his servants by name, Said: "Go into the town, fetch the blind and the lame, Fetch the peasant and the pauper for this I have willed, My banquet must be crowded and my table must be filled." (chorus)

When the poor had assembled, there was still room to spare, So the master demanded: "Go, search everywhere, To the highways and the byways and force them to come in, My table must be filled before the banquet can begin." (chorus)

Now, God has written a lesson for the rest of humankind: If we're slow in responding, God may leave you behind. God's preparing a banquet for the great and glorious day. When the Lord and Master call us, be certain not to say: (chorus)


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
14:47:19

Comment

to no name:

Yes, yes, yes Moses' baptism....

Sounds like you know nothing about that....

Jesus came under the law of Moses...

Get real out there...those who call themselves Christian...

In grace,

LJC


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
15:07:17

Comment

I agree that we need to address sin and the presence of evil in our world. So many seem to be frightened to challenge their congregations. The "sermon" isn't just a quick fix to make people FEEL good, but to challenge all (me included) to change directions and focus on Christ. I have been told that we are preaching to the converted. I disagree. We ALL can use direction for the path is narrow and very easy to stumble off.

We seem to be living in a world that doesn't want to offend anyone and we change the language of "sin" even in our confessions! Those we are called and answer the call to leadership in the church are "more accountable before God" We need to get our act together and preach the word as if it is our last!

We need to get back to the gospel! I was told once that if I didnt' challenge anyone, then I was sitting on the fence. I don't think I would go that far, but the message is clear. REV wwm


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
16:35:07

Comment

I'd love to contribute something, but I'm not interested in being attacked. I've noticed the number of "positive" postings are down. It's no wonder with the negative attacks I keep reading.


Date:
08 Oct 1999
Time:
16:35:46

Comment

I'd love to contribute something, but I'm not interested in being attacked. I've noticed the number of "positive" postings are down. It's no wonder with the negative attacks I keep reading.


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
03:50:55

Comment

I am a lowly lay speaker and have not had the years of theological training that some of you have had. As a matter of fact, I feel quite illiterate while reading some of your comments.

I must admit that I don't know what LJC is talking about when he refers to the baptism of Moses. According to him, I might not get into heaven if I don't understand it.

I realize my comments might seem a bit flippant, but I seriously want to understand what LJC is talking about.


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
04:21:42

Comment

As a past visitor to this site, and infrequent contributor, I was of the understanding that one of the guidelines to follow was that we were "desperate" in the sense of seeking the mutual wisdom of brothers and sisters in the faith for the purpose of proclaiming the Word of God in our churches each weekend.

Now that I've returned after several weeks away, I've discovered that there seem to be a few, self-chosen preachers, who are "desperate" to always prove another wrong, or prove themselves right, or get the last word in, or....I'm not sure what they are "desperate" for!!

I love the discussions.....I look forward to the pearls of wisdom, the theological insights to chew on, the challenging words that make me rethink and pray, rethink, and pray......pray and rethink....thank you to all who provide this for me, a fellow "desperate" preacher. Please keep it up.

As for the other "desperate" preachers who write about how right they are, with imperatives and an all-knowing style, I invite others to join me in simply ignoring, not reading, and not responding to the chastising, condemnatory responses that, at least for me, do not help to build up the whole body of Christ....they simple appear to be intended to tear down individuals within.


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
04:24:31

Comment

missed the posting

DP in DL


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
12:47:34

Comment

Friends, The title of my sermon for tomorrow is "R.S.V.P., A.S.A.P." which will discuss the urgency of the call to the Kingdom of God by Jesus in this parable. Thanks to those who recalled the words of the "Banquet Song."

Shalom, Bob Hempel, St. Petri UCC Ringing the Bell Beneath the Chicago Skyway


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
13:57:51

Comment

Thank to the writer who posted......

<<As for the other "desperate" preachers who write about how right they are, with imperatives and an all-knowing style, I invite others to join me in simply ignoring, not reading, and not responding to the chastising, condemnatory responses that, at least for me, do not help to build up the whole body of Christ....they simple appear to be intended to tear down individuals within. >>

If people respond to persons who are negative and condeming....that gives them more incentive to write back and be even more abusive.

Don't feed the beasts and they won't come back... or learn to live off of grass and berries... not from the felsh of victims. I note how when a few persons relish insulting or cutting people down.... it drives further into hiding, those persons waiting in the wings. Let's not let that happen.

It is pretty obvious who the abusers are...let's pray that they stop. This is not their arena to bang pots, and throw things at others. I think they need to use other parts of their spiritual capacity and other parts of this web site for some dicussion

donhoff,elmira donaldhoff@aol.com


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
16:02:38

Comment

09 OCT 99

Ah, found the text I was thinking of: Revelation 19:8 talking about "proper attire" and what it amounts to: "...it has been granted (for her, the bride) to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure, for the fine linen is the *righteous deeds* of the saints." Sermon title: "It's not about fashion." Good, faithful and fruitful preaching. Peter in CA


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
16:32:01

Comment

Peter in CA,

Is there any constrast between the wedding ceremony and the honeymoon?

In grace,

LJC


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
17:47:40

Comment

There is a difference in hearing an invitatation and hearing the invitation. The robe we are to wear is the righteousness of Christ. This is a messege about responding externally(rules) or internally(Love).

RH


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
17:59:46

Comment

RH,

Was this speaking not at a time when THEY were rejecting the Christ???

In grace,

LJC


Date:
09 Oct 1999
Time:
19:53:38

Comment

I'm sorry this is so late in posting - been doing a lot of clean-up after the flood, and got behind.

It seems to me that this parable is NOT about sin, as usually described. After all, he is preaching against the Pharisees. It is the sinners, in fact, who are invited to the party, and ALL may come. Matthew goes out of his way to describe those who are invited, and they are not a classy bunch!

I think the key to the passage lies in the "called" and "chosen." These two words are used in the parable of the workers in the vineyard as well. There are two categories of workers there, the contractual workers (called) and the others (chosen). The first are called with the promise of reward, the rest are just chosen - they are told that he will do right by them.

The other time that these words are used together is in Matthew 22:14. Here, the called are those who have the invitation to enter the kingdom, and the chosen are those who have obeyed the call.

The called, here, are not unlike the contractual workers in the vinyard, who remonstrated against the owner because of his unequal wages. A further key is the word often translated, "friend." In reality, the greek word refers to a selfish person who chooses his friends or comrades for his own advantage. In other words, he has not come for the party, but to schmooze.

The theme that runs through both the ones that turn down the invitation and the one kicked out for improper attire, is that, in both instances, they wish to enter (or not) on their own terms. The chosen are those who accept the Lord's terms for both salvation and service - they are the truly obedient.

I'm thinking of aiming this sermon at the many things we do that surround our lives, but are not focused on God's celebration. Like the excuses that the guests give in the Lucan story, many of the things we do are worthwhile. Many are of immediate concern (a new wife, a new cow - don't confuse the two!). The problem is when we confuse the immediate and the important with the "one thing necessary." In the church, we get focused on the new sanctuary, on getting people for council, and a million other things. Are we "keeping the main thing the main thing?" Or are we substituting lesser concerns for the One really important one?

Life is a celebration to which God calls us! Good baptsimal/eucharistic theme!

Gary in New Bern


Date:
10 Oct 1999
Time:
01:11:26

Comment

"Speechless"--

I plan to sign this, "He couldn't give an answer."

(Yes, my sermons are in American Sign Language.)


Date:
10 Oct 1999
Time:
04:22:36

Comment

Wow! We really haven't changed that much in2,000 years. Seems like we have an equal number of folks too busy withtheir theological correctness to come tothe party, along with others who have their own choice of proper attire. Anyone missing the point in this week's lection, just re-read our own polylogue! Wearing the T-shirt and wading through it, RevPam in Oregon