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Posted by Comments:
Wanderer
October 3, 2017
Such a gory parable! What I like is that the king
opens up the wedding feast to all people. Why does
the parable have to end on such a negative note.
If these people were gathered in from the streets,
then why were they still expected to wear a
wedding gown. This does not make any sense!


Posted by Comments:
gerald
October 3, 2017
The man without the wedding robe came to the feast
and thought he could fit in without needing to
adhere to the expectations. Since this is a
parable we know we are talking about an analogy.
When the king, (and you can guess who the king is)
comes he immediately sees the man without the
robe. Essentially he sees into the heart of the
man and sees he is a hypocrite, a pretender. I
want to look like I am a member of this group but
don't really believe in what the group believes.
I guess the ultimate question is... are you
wearing a wedding gown.


Posted by Comments:
Rick in Canada, eh?
October 10, 2017
Hi all, and Hi Gerald.

While I understand your point, Gerald, and while I
recognize that your explanation can be seen as
consistent with this parable, I would have a very
hard time saying it in a sermon.

Who among us can claim to be free from some form
of hypocrisy? Who among us can claim to be
completely authentic believers? Who among us has
been adequately consistent in our faith journey?

Sure, there are time when I feel fairly secure in
my relationship with the king. But there are other
times when that relationship is not so great.

Which of those is the "real" me? Which
of those has been invited to the banquet? Which of
those is wearing the wedding gown? Am I simply
left hoping that I'm having a good day when the
king comes in?

Granted, my Lutheranism is showing, but having the
expectation laid on me that I need to make sure
that I am wearing the correct clothes for this
party, is only showing me that I'm naked in the
king's presence.

That is the valid function of the Law. It shows us
our failure to measure up. But where is the
Gospel? Where is the Good News that we are rescued
from the Law's demands? Where is the life-giving
message that "salvation" (however that
is understood) is a free gift, not an achievement?

Sorry for running off at the computer (as my aunt
says)! But this is a biggie. And I need to have
more to say to those who come on Sunday morning
that just, "Make sure you've got your act
together."


Posted by Comments:
Galactic Pastor
October 10, 2017
Hi Rick! I think that humility & doubt about
our worthiness, and acknowledging our continuing
condition of sin could be the wedding robe.
Certainly the people at this wedding feast would
have been clothed in humility - they would
normally have been the last to be invited because
of their stations in life.

But fast forwarding to the present - I see leaders
of our nation who claim to be Christian, and yet
the actions & the laws that they promote -
well, they don't seem to have much of anything to
do with the teachings of Jesus. They cry out for
prayer in school or flags in the sanctuary, etc,
but they vote against school lunches & health
care for the least. They are tough on crime, but
resistant to acknowledging or working on the root
causes or the unfair administration of justice.
Christianity has been coopted as a tool of power,
and love has been left in the dust. Perhaps they
are interlopers in our midst like the one without
a wedding robe.

Just wondering if this has any relation to the man
without the wedding robe in our parable. Then
again, I could be way off base, just looking for
a place vent my frustrations.


Posted by Comments:
rev smith, Lacey IA
October 10, 2017
The idea of the wedding robe as I understand it,
was that the king provided the robe so all the
guest had to do was to accept it and put it on.

Rick as for your struggles with your own
salvation, thanks be to God that you wrestle with
it. I think too many don't "work out their
salvation with fear and trembling" but take
it for granted.

So the question becomes will you accept the
salvation God gives or will you out of a sense of
pride assume that your guilt is so big that you
are not worthy of putting on the wedding robe? Or
worse yet out of pride, will you assume that the
robe you provide for yourself is adequate to get
you into the banquet?

I like the image of standing naked in front of the
King as it makes one vulnerable and opens us up to
receiving the robe provided by the King.


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
October 12, 2017
Friends and Rev Smith:
"...out of pride, will you assume that the
robe you provide for yourself is adequate to get
you into the banquet?"

Thanks! For me, this speaks loudest of all;
there are many good thoughts offered this week.

And now the task is to fit this with the
banquet being offered presently in the community I
serve.

The joyful/hard work of building a sailboat from
scratch culminated last night with a large group
of children and adults working (and some
frolicking on the church lawn) on the final
touches of this beautiful 13.4 foot skiff, named
"Sweetwater." Launching is scheduled for
Sunday following worship by the banks of Jeremy
Creek. It should be fun.

The robe we that we need for this banquet? It is
a wisdom handed down from many boat builders over
the centuries who have worked out the details of
boat construction, which is to provide a seaworthy
craft, whose beauty is not skin deep but arises
from the function of the vessel itself. Without
that robe, anyone who puts to sea will only
endanger themselves.


Posted by Comments:
steve souther
October 12, 2017
Friends, again.

In case you're wondering, the name
'Sweetwater' comes from the Native American
(Seewee) word, Wappetaw. The young people of the
New Wappetaw Presbyterian Church built this boat,
starting from a table of offsets the first of May
of this year. 'Offsets' are dimensions that are
transferred from a set of plans to the lumberyard
material that was used to build the boat.

A task of this magnitude went beyond the ability
of any one of us, but together (with God's help)
we managed it.

For one, I had to stretch my own wardrobe for
this. The analogy fits two ways: I had to wear
work clothes to church (literally), changing my
image, and also changing my attitude about doing
things my way --asking for help and listening to
the suggestions from others.

This is the work of the (banquet) church!


Posted by Comments:
Nightwatch
October 12, 2017
Can someone supply a link to the comment about the
King being the provision of the robes? I'd heard
this also, but would like some more information
and affirmation that this is so.
Blessings!!!


Posted by Comments:
Revhen
October 12, 2017
It just hit me what the "wedding
garments" stood for. The main part of the
parable focuses on those who would not commit to
their faith. They always find excuses not to do
so. That seems to be a growing situation in our
present culture. But there are also those who DO
respond and are seemingly faithful. Thus the
Pharisees who were hyper religious but missing the
core of the faith. For example, they used their
faith to declare that they didn't have to support
their aged parents because they had dedicated all
their wealth to serving God in a day when
retirement income and "Social Security"
were the children. They claimed to have responded
to God's call but were not "clothed" in
the correct beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes
embedded in that faith. I fear there are lots of
those folk around today, too. I'll say no more
lest I tread on some toes.


Posted by Comments:
Richard Mallory
October 13, 2017
The king is Herod or another petty despot well
known to all at that time. He is a tyrant and
cruel. This is not an allegory. It is a parable
with a punch. The Christ figure is the one
expelled from the rotten social political
arrangement. He is the Suffering Servant from
Second Isaiah. He is the hero of the story. Let us
not moralize about wearing proper uniforms. This
is about suffering that is risked in following
the Christ.


Posted by Comments:
Revhen
October 13, 2017
Disagree. Context is series of conflicts with
religious authorities during Holy Week culminating
in the crucifixion. The Pharisees, et al,
certainly took what Jesus said in this way.


Posted by Comments:
Rick in Canada, eh?
October 13, 2017
Hi all.

Thank you Richard Mallory for breaking this one
open for me. You hit the nail on the head:
moralizing about the robe is not the point, and
never has been the point.

And thank you Revhen for pointing to the context
of this passage in Matthew's text. Yes, this is a
series of conflict stories which culminate on the
cross. And yes, Jesus' opponents heard these
stories as challenges to their authority and role
within the reign of God.

But I don't see making this affirmation as
precluding Richard's point.

Indeed, isn't that the whole point of all
parables? That they break through our preconceived
ideas, challenge our assumptions, and leave us in
unfamiliar territory?

Taking Richard's point, I can see the people at
the feast, and indeed the king himself, as
congratulating themselves on participating in this
new kind of party, where the important people have
been lowered in status, or even excluded, and the
"nobodies," the "good and bad"
are now included. The Reign of God has arrived!
And we know what it looks like now! We have
finally made it!

And suddenly we are confronted with someone who
doesn't conform even to this grand vision. We see
the ultimate outsider who doesn't even play by our
new, expansive, welcoming rules; who comes to the
party uninvited, undressed, uncompromising,
unspeaking. A threatening, uncomfortable,
unacceptable, intolerable Presence in our new
heaven, who calls the whole project into question.

So, once again, there is no room in the inn for
this One.

He must be removed, eliminated, erased. He must be
thrown into the darkness of "outside,"
where all of God's prophets end up, weeping and
gnashing their teeth over what might have been. He
must, in fact, be crucified.

I think Richard's insight is entirely consistent
with the whole Jesus story, in which many are
called, but few are chosen.


Posted by Comments:
Galactic Pastor
October 14, 2017
In all the other of Matthew's long string of
parables, the king represents God. I think that
in this one, the King is also God. The banquet
represents the kingdom of God. The invitees who
are busy & won't come are the Jewish people -
more specifically the Jewish leaders. The poor
people- good & bad that are gathered in to the
feast are the Gentiles. The man without the
robe??? This is such a tough story. The man
without the robe is some kind of interloper. Is
he a crasher? A Christian who talks the walk
without walking the talk? Why doesn't he have a
robe? How did he get in? That's part of the
puzzle.

On another front, I was thinking about how this
parable has been abused in the past - and how it
has been cruelly applied. One of the translations
of the invitation to the poor was to "compel
them to come." It was used as justification
for forced baptisms - especially in the early days
of the Europeans in the Americas.

Not my favorite text to wrestle with & preach
on. Three years ago I preached on the Philippians
text, which I love. But people wonder what the
heck is going on with this strange banquet, so I
feel called to ponder it with them & for them.
Looking for grace here. Grace has to be more
than inviting people because the first people I
invited didn't come. Grace is love. Grace is
love that sets a feast before us in the presence
of our enemies. In the presence of disease &
age & suffering. A place where every tear is
wiped away. Where is the connection between these
feasts?


Posted by Comments:
Joe UK
October 14, 2017
A double edged sword which leaves no labels, just
like the parable of the talents.


Posted by Comments:
priest in pa
October 14, 2017
The last part of the parable is an addendum, a
later addition, and it changes the focus from the
original parable, which is about accepting the
Lord's invitation to the feast.
The Robe is the baptismal garment,
representing not just baptism but the level of
commitment and willingness to follow Jesus through
Death to New Life. Our first brothers and sisters
understood that cost, it could've been persecution
or death, but expected those who desired a
relationship w God to make the commitment and be
willing to live (and die) for the Gospel... For
us today: are we willing to accept the
Invitation, no matter the cost, and are we
bringing others in?


Posted by Comments:
Revhen
October 14, 2017
The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king


Posted by Comments:
Northport Rev
October 14, 2017
Galactic, In a sermon fro 1531 Luther called this
a "terrible Gospel" that he didn't like
to preach (Luther's Works Vol. 2 page 719). So be
at peace. I am confident that the root parable
here is one from Jesus, but when you compare it to
Luke and the version in Gospel of Thomas, it is
clear that Matthew took a saying from here and a
word from there and shaped the parable to be a
final condemnation of the Jerusalem Leadership.
After all, by the time he wrote this their city
had been burned. As he did in three other places
he had "CINO"s (Christian in name only)
bound and tossed into the outer darkness. In his
desire to protect the community by challenging us
to not rely on "cheep grace" but live as
if our salvation actually cost God something he
"amped up" his hyperbole. In the end I
think Jesus' message is a thumb in the eye to
those who claim their relationship with God as a
birthright. I think the invitation to the
outsider, the good and the bad, is the point.


Posted by Comments:
rev smith, Lacey IA
October 14, 2017
as for the wedding garments being provided here is
a link to several commentaries on this passage.
http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/22-11.htm

As I recall one of my New Testament professors
shared with me the idea of the king providing the
garments. You can also find some OT references to
presenting guests with garments for special
occasions.


Posted by Comments:
Carol Been
October 14, 2017
I wonder if the one who comes inappropriately
dressed refuses to be clothed with the grace of
God, the righteousness of Christ. The
"unforgivable sin" denies the Spirit
that offers grace to them and all the other
guests. It is only unforgivable because the guest
has defined himself outside of the wedding feast
by refusing to take on the garment of salvation.
The king's rejection only makes real what the
guest has already proclaimed by his refusal to be
part of the party.


Posted by Comments:
Carol Been
October 14, 2017
I wonder if the one who comes inappropriately
dressed refuses to be clothed with the grace of
God, the righteousness of Christ. The
"unforgivable sin" denies the Spirit
that offers grace to them and all the other
guests. It is only unforgivable because the guest
has defined himself outside of the wedding feast
by refusing to take on the garment of salvation.
The king's rejection only makes real what the
guest has already proclaimed by his refusal to be
part of the party.


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