23 February 2018
Who will come to the Party?
Have you ever made preparations for someone who never turned up? A meal cooked waiting, the table set and someone sent down to the shops to buy the cream for the special meal. Then the person you invited did not come. A casual call, "we?ve decided to go to my friend?s place to see the rugby, we know you won?t mind. We?ll come another time". You look at the table, everything ready, the smells from the oven with much too much food for you.
What do you do? Well your neighbour, whom you haven?t really got to know, is struggling home late from work. Her children are waiting for tea, she looks tired and hasseled.
"Would you like to come for tea?" you say . she looks alarmed, you can see pictures of having to get the children to behave and dressed going through her mind, its almost too much effort to come.
" It doesn?t matter how you come, just come now as you are, I would love to have you and you?d be helping me" She decides, "Yes we?ll be over in a minute".
They pile in, three children and the neighbour clutching a bag of sweets. They relax as the smell of food greets them and we begin the meal. And we begin to talk, and find out that we have seen each other from a distance and never really known each other, and we discover that we have lots in common including the broken fence. Its the beginning of a long friendship. And that fence never got replaced.
There are several stories of God inviting us to be part of a great celebration. Matthew 22 and Luke 14 tell us that there was a wedding celebration and the King who had invited the special guests sent out messenger to tell them it was ready. They all had excuses - [some were good excuses if they were taken on their own] - not to come. Well, the king was wanting to celebrate his only son?s wedding, a one off occasion, and he also was left with all the food and no fridges in those days. So he sent out messengers to ask all the people in the streets, and out into the countryside to ask all those they found. The people were very surprised to be asked, but they came. They celebrated with the king and it was them, and not those who assumed they had the right to refuse, who became the king?s true friends. Their priorities were in the right order, they honoured the king and were glad to be invited and came with joy to be part of the great feast. Those who took the King for granted were no longer part of the new life of the king.
Let us remember as church in this place that we are the messengers to invite people to celebrate life in God?s love. We have a feast of love and living to offer, acceptance and friendship to share and an invitation to give on behalf of the Son. We need to think about what we serve at the feast, it could be a BBQ, Chinese takeaways, a Wednesday roast dinner ,a basket of baking delivered to a home, or the bread and wine, but when we ask in the name of Jesus we are assured that he is there, both host and guest to bring us all life.
Rev. Margaret Anne Low
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