Partying in God’s Kingdom
Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God is celebrated as a party. The party is called the Messiah’s Banquet. Understanding this parable is to give your RSVP to God and your place in eternity. Understanding this parable is to receive your commission to invite others to the party. Understanding this parable is to realize the Kingdom’s urgency to grab you by the collar to deliver the Divine message.
The people in the parable who initially said “yes” but when the time came said “no” we’re guilty of trying to make what is of secondary importance, primary and the primary, secondary. Then family (“newly married”), capital investments (“new oxen”), wealth (“new land”) can’t serve their good purpose because we have declared them to be the ultimate, when in truth they are penultimate.
The free will God has given us doesn’t mean we can freely discard God’s purposes. God tells us to invite everyone in our lives to enter the life of the party. First, invite those whom we cherish. Second, go ahead and invite those whom we initially decided not to invite. Third, invite those who require us to be radically generous. We are changed by God’s generous love.
Party with purpose. Party where the party doesn’t end. Party where there is no empty feeling along the way. Party in the Kingdom of God where everybody is invited to be a VIP. Though open to anyone, everyone feels special in the Kingdom of God.
15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ ”