What exactly does Jesus mean when the king hosting his son’s wedding banquet says, “Many are called, but few are chosen”?
I have struggled with this parable because the king’s violent tendency and angry actions significantly conflict with my understanding of God’s nature. The God I know reflects both patience and gentleness and does not choose to give love and grace to certain people over others. Therefore, I believe this parable conveys a picture of a merciful God who relentlessly pursues our presence and participation in the grand plan to love.
Whether we refuse or promptly respond to God’s invitation to discipleship, God does not love us any less or more. But God may call upon others who are willing and able to show love and care, while waiting for us to answer perhaps another call or a new opportunity for participation in kingdom life.
We do not passively wait for Yahweh to choose or invite us; instead, God patiently awaits our response to the invitation. Some commentators deem “the wedding robe” to represent a new way of life we accept or begin when we accept the invitation to discipleship. The difficulty comes in accepting but doing nothing. There is no authentic Christian faith without living a new life. Failure to do so will lead us ultimately to the pain of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
What new life are you ready to live in order to further God’s kingdom on earth? What will you need to choose or avoid in order to fulfill this invitation to the wedding feast?
God, who knows and still loves, help us tenaciously seek, courageously sing, and clearly see your invitation to new life. Amen.
In Exodus 33 Moses successfully argues that without Yahweh’s merciful presence Israel is no nation and that Yahweh’s and Moses’ efforts have come to naught. Psalm 99 mentions Yahweh’s royal rule, which brings to mind the human agents of that rule: Moses, Aaron, and Samuel. Each of these leaders facilitated Yahweh’s conversation with the people and Yahweh’s rule over them. The opening lines from First Thessalonians raise a question about the church’s understanding of evangelism. Paul and his coworkers experience a change in themselves because of the Thessalonians, who become a living proclamation of the gospel by virtue of their ready acceptance of it. In the Gospel reading, Jesus answers a question with a question and confuses his “audience” both then and today.
• Read Exodus 33:12-23. When have you most longed for a glimpse of God’s glory? How did God give you the assurance you needed?
• Read Psalm 99. Where in your life is forgiveness needed to restore a loving relationship? How have you experienced “a forgiving God”?
• Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. As your Christian faith has developed, how have you seen it move “from head to heart to hands”?
• Read Matthew 22:15-22. How do you give to God “the things that are God’s”? What are some of those things Jesus wants you to give?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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