by Ronald H. Matthews

Invitation to the Banquet of Life
Rev. Ronald H. Matthews
Matthew 22:1-12; Luke 14:15-24

The gospel for today contains two parables, both of which are intended to focus our thoughts on God's gracious invitation to the banquet of life. Sadly, many folks seem to ignore the invitation. Others may read it, but fail to respond. However, those few who accept God's invitation discover the hope, joy and peace that comes from knowing Christ as Lord and Savior and realizing the ultimate gift of God as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We are told that there is no shortage of food in our world. Currently there is more than enough food to feed every person on the planet. Yet, there are millions who are starving. The problem is not in supply; it is in distribution. Likewise, spiritually speaking, there is more than enough mercy, grace and love in the heart of God to supply the world and yet many people are starving for all three of those basic requirements for spiritual sustenance. Again, the problem is not supply; it is distribution; PLUS, the willingness of those needy recipients to accept what they need.

There is a great line from the musical production, "Auntie Mame", which describes this condition: "All the world's a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death." That's a pretty good description of the spiritual state of much of the world. It may be the state of some among us this morning, which is the reason I want to extend the invitation at the start. Friends, the gospel invites everyone to the banquet of life. God, in Christ, came into this world of sin and sorrow to show us a better way of living and to tell us about a future with hope. God loves us more than we can possibly understand. God forgives us more than we could possibly deserve. The message of Jesus is God's INVITATION TO THE BANQUET OF LIFE: LIFE HERE AND NOW AND LIFE THAT IS ETERNAL.

However, this invitation, must be acknowledged. God wants us to RSVP our intent. Now if forgi ...

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