So often, the task of the preacher is to bring something new to the table. I mean, the sacred texts are a few millennia old and more than a handful of people during that timeframe have spoken about those exact same words, trying to offer an insight, introduce a new thought, spark something that gets right down to the heart of it and on a deeper level. And let’s face it, most of those attempts have been offered to those who have already walked in through the front door of belief and have agreed that they were interested in what the preacher had to say about it. Those preachers are often… preaching to the choir.
But in Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus offers a parable about the times when those words fall upon deaf ears. When an invitation is offered… and then rejected.
It’s easy for those who count themselves among the faithful to feel as though an invitation from the master once offered will be surely accepted. But Jesus’ story is about those who are invited to a king’s son’s wedding and refused to attend. Little reason is given for their decision, though in the second instance of the invitation story, we hear that some went off to their farms and their businesses. These were the selected few, the invited. Yet they were busy with life, with their day-to-day affairs. They did not heed the invitation. Perhaps they never even heard that it was offered in the first place.
It’s an opportunity to think about our own readiness to hear and heed. We are all busy living our lives, but are we ready? Truly ready? Are we receptive? Are we attentive?
Do we favor silence?
Do we live in the moment?
Do we listen… when we pray?
Do we take the time necessary… and it does take time… to build a real and true and deep relationship with Christ?
In terms of our faith, being here (in church) is one thing… but doing something deeper about it is another thing altogether.
If we don’t, even if we think of ourselves as the selected few, the invited, the faithful… then we could miss it. We could lose our opportunity to find ourselves at the great and everlasting banquet.