8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”
In the original context of this parable of the King throwing a wedding party for his son, there were grievous consequences for refusing the king’s invitation. This was a great insult to the king.
I am struck with the king’s unrelenting determination to have the wedding hall filled with guests. These images point to a God who also is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” and be saved. Those who are excluded from the Kingdom and the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus, are excluded by their own choice.
Yet, O, how the church needs to imitate the King’s desperate attempts to fill his house for the party! God wants his churches filled with worshipers today as well. He is not content with a hand full of the faithful while many pews sit empty Sunday after Sunday. And we, his servants, are called to “go to the street corners” and invite anyone we can find! We are not to show partiality in our invitations. We are not to discriminate saying, “Oh, they would never come to church.” We need to invite “the bad as well as the good” — and that means risking the invitation to our coarse coworker, our foul-mouthed neighbor, our too-busy, excuse-ridden friends, the town gossip, and the brawler from the bar.
But the bottom line message for the church today in this parable seems to be: Go. Go out. Go out into the streets. Go out into the streets and make disciples. This is a timely reminder as Easter approaches when people are more open to coming to God’s banquet to celebrate the Risen Son!
Let us go. Let us go.
While the day is aglow.
Let us get back to our fishing!