The Wedding Invitation
Lauren grew up in our church. I was not only her pastor, but one of her professors in her first year of college. She is also like a daughter to Mary and me, and the wedding invitation was in our hand. The problem was that the exclusive wedding was way down in the gorgeous hill country west of Round Rock. Mary and I were three hours north, and the Dallas area was covered with snow and ice. By noon we had to decide whether it was a go or not. Was it worth it to drive that far in those conditions for a wedding?
As we continue our journey to the cross with Matthew, we find ourselves in Jerusalem and Jesus is teaching in the Temple. His previous stories about the son who said “yes” to his father but then failed to follow through (Matthew 21:30) and the tenants who made an agreement about the vineyard but broke their promise (Matthew 21:35-36) underlined that Jesus takes a dim view when we make commitments but fail to come through. This was before the days of internet communication, so the king sent out his servants once, and then sent them out again right before the wedding feast to make sure that the wedding guests got the message. How did they respond to his invitation?
“But they paid no attention. Instead they took off. One to his own field, another to his business.” (Matthew 22:5)
Jesus goes on to describe another group whose response was even worse. They beat up the inviters and murdered them. You can guess how the king dealt with these criminals, and it all foreshadowed the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD70 (Matthew 22:7). But the Spirit turned my attention back to those who simply ignored the invitation. They were too busy minding their own business.
Mary and I did act on Lauren’s invitation. As it turned out, the temperature went up, the ice melted, and we had no problem on the journey. Because we didn’t just receive the invitation but acted on it, we got to be part of one of the most beautiful weddings we’ve ever seen.
LORD, help us to realize that You don’t accept empty words. You don't buy into glib talk. True faith yields real action. Use this devo to move someone to turn away from their focus only on their own stuff and to open their heart to Your invitation, to act on it, and join Your family.
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