The Great Invitation to the Feast

Beloved in Christ, today’s message brings to our remembrance the parable from Luke chapter 14, where the kingdom of God is likened to a grand feast. An invitation is sent out, calling all to partake in the feast of victory prepared by our Lord. This feast symbolizes the sacrifice of Christ, given for our salvation and righteousness.

Many invited guests, however, make excuses to reject this invitation. They prioritize earthly possessions and duties over the divine communion. Such excuses are a stark contrast to the stewardship of Christ, who is Lord over all. The parable warns against valuing temporary gifts over the eternal feast offered by God.

The message emphasizes that everything we possess is from the Lord and should be used for the salvation of sinners. By aligning our lives with God’s purpose, we find wisdom and blessings in our stewardship. The call to share our abundance with others, to furnish a table and invite others to dine, reflects the love and community that God desires for us.

Another excuse comes from a man who prioritizes his oxen over the feast, yet the example of Elisha, who sacrificed his oxen to follow God’s call, teaches us to see Jesus as our highest treasure. The message encourages us to sacrifice worldly pleasures for the sake of Christ, who needs nothing from us but uses our offerings to bless others.

The parable also addresses those who prioritize relationships, like marriage, over God’s invitation. It highlights that while a spouse is a gift from the Lord, placing them above God’s call can lead to ruin. Embracing the Lord’s invitation brings blessings to our marriages and households.

When the initial invitees reject the feast, the invitation is extended to the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind. This demonstrates God’s inclusive love and the danger of rejecting His call. Historical examples from Martin Luther illustrate the consequences of neglecting the gospel, urging us to seize and uphold it.

The message concludes with a call to cherish the gathering of saints, to avoid the pitfalls of rejecting God’s invitation, and to embrace the community and blessings found in His feast. It reminds us to share our lives and possessions with others, reflecting the true meaning of life in Christ.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.