Sunday, October 2, 2011

Come: A story based on Luke 14:16-24


Imagine with me, for a moment, that you are the servant. Your master has prepared a giant feast and has invited his closest friends. You can't even begin to imagine or understand just how much this feast has cost. And because the master really loves his friends, he has bought the most expensive food and prepared it himself. You delivered "save the date" invitations a month ago, and 2 weeks ago, you hand-delivered personal invitations, and every friend said they would come. The only other job you have for this feast is to go tonight and pick up the guests in your master's limo. Alright. So you head out. First house. This guy has been the master's best friend since they were born. They did everything together. You know this is going to be an awesome night because this guy is  a ton of fun. 
Knock, knock, knock. Door opens: "Hello, just coming to escort you to the grand feast my master has prepared for you."
The guy shuffles his feet and won't look you in the eye. "Hey man, I'm really sorry. I'm not going to be able to make it tonight. I've got stuff going on. Tell your master thanks for inviting me, though. Really appreciate the invitation and hope he hasn't gone to too much trouble to get this together." Door closes in your face. You stand there with your mouth hanging open. 
"OK, whatever. Maybe he isn't as good of a friend as the master thought he was. It's only one person. Lots of people have been invited. No one will notice his absence."
You move on to the next house, and invite that person to get into the limo.
"I'm sorry. I just bought a car and I need to work on the engine. Thanks though. Hey, by the way, nice outfit man!"
"OK, this is really weird."
Next house: Man comes to the door, looking sheepish when you ask him, trying to remain pleasant, to get into the car. "I'm sorry, I can't. My wife doesn't want to go out tonight." Meanwhile, from somewhere in the house, you hear a shrill voice yelling, "Horace! What have i told you about answering the door! Now come here! The dishes still need to be washed!" You give him a pitiful look as you head back to the car.
House after house, friend after friend: they all come up with a pitiful excuse not  to come. You have visited every house on your list, and not one of them followed you into the limo. 
As you head back to the master's mansion, you are very discouraged, and a bit fearful. 
"This is bad. It's like they all got together and conspired to not come tonight. What is the master going to say? What is my lord going to do? Is he going to be angry at me? What will I tell him?"
As you pull into the large circular driveway, you see the master standing at the bottom of the steps waiting to greet the guests. You slowly get out of the limo and walk over to him. His smile of joy turns to a mask of anger when he notices that no guests get out of the car. "Where are they?!" He calls to you. 
"They were unable to come, my lord. I invited each of them, but they made excuses. It looks like your hard work and sacrifice was for waste."
"No! It shall not be wasted. Go back out. Go to Walmart. Go to the slums. Find people that need me and what I have to offer and invite them. Bring them. All of them. Those that need me will want me. The people that I invited, those that I originally worked for have rejected me. I will go to those who need me. I will go to those who will accept me."
So you go. You find those that will come. You fill the banquet hall. And nobody notices you as you serve the food. They see the lord at the head of the table. And you are glad. That's the way it should be. You didn't pay for the supper. You didn't have to sacrifice. You didn't have to prepare it. You just had to invite people to partake.

Jesus came to the Jews, but they rejected him. He gave up heaven, sacrificed for them, but they killed him. So He went to those that needed him, that were willing to accept Him. We are the servants of the Lord. We don't have to pay or prepare. We just have to invite others to partake in the Lord's sacrifice. His anger isn't directed at us. It's directed at those who reject His sacrifice. And just like in the story, no one should be paying attention to the servant. The master should be getting all the attention. And we should be thankful, and more than willing to let Him get all the glory.
PRAISE THE LORD OUR MASTER!