Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost
Kenneth C. Kroohs
Isaiah 25:1-9; Psalm 23; Philippians 4:4-43; Matthew 22:1-14
October 10, 1999
Decision time!! .... Do you hate the idea -- or love it? Do you hate it when the decision must be made? Or are you the type who is just pulling at the bit ... trying to get to get a decision made?
For other people, all the doors are shut until a decision is made. No alternative ... no future is possible until that decisions is made. Only then does any future become possible. No wonder those people are anxious to make a decision!
For the past three weeks we have been hearing Jesus talk about decisions --- about options --- about doors being open or shut. Jesus telling the church leaders, the apostles, the crowd ... and us that we must make a decision. Whether that is something we like doing or something we dread ... it is essential.
The decision is made easier because God tells us exactly which is the correct one. No guessing. God sends us an invitation to enter --- to join the feast in progress.
The parable today is about decisions ... but the basic story is very confusing. Maybe Jesus meant it to be. Maybe Jesus was trying to emphasize the ridiculousness of the way some people act. Maybe. ... But it still seems strange. I did not grow up in the south. In fact, I grew up in the New York City and New Jersey area. Even there .. even up north ... it was considered bad form to not respond to an invitation!!
The picture Jesus presents is more than bad form. The people are acting in a stupid manner! The person with power -- the person who could directly influence their lives invites them to a banquet! A wonderful, joyous party. Invites them to be happy, well fed, to enjoy all at no expense to them ... all of this is a free gift being offered .... and they ignore the invitation!!
You would think ... at least for northerners ... the very least they could have done ...
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