Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lectionary 28: A - Matthew 22:1-14

Matthew 28:1-14
The lesson of a parable is in the punch line and this one has the perfect set up. Just when we think the story is over - with a happy ending for the people of the streets no less - Jesus throws a sucker punch and the poor schmuck with the rented tux is throw out into the proverbial place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. And since kingdom parables are always about the nature of God the tossed out wedding guest without a suit and tie presents us with some difficulties. Which is to say can we trust that God’s invitational love is unconditional or is there a value added tax to the free gift of grace? There were no instructions as to attire for the good and the bad that were gathered as it appears as if the blanket invitation was for the sake of the king who was upset (and embarrassed?) by an empty hall at the wedding banquet for his son. We tend to be troubled by the one thrown out thinking it unfair but if we think about the king in the story it changes our perspective. What if the parable punchline reveals a God who is more inclusive than we are? What if the one not well dressed was wearing a tux and objected to the good and bad hanging out together at a royal wedding? Maybe what made the servants originally invited not worthy is that they refused to accept an invitation from a king who was willing to invite whoever as long as the hall was filled. Which may mean heaven is crowded and hell is a lonely place.

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