The Twentieth Sunday after Trinity 2015

Bible Text: Matthew 22:1-14 | Preacher: Rev. Mark Buetow | Series: 2015

You could throw the greatest party ever. All you can eat. All you can drink. You can tell people it will go several days to accommodate their schedules. You can tell them there’s no charge, free parking and they don’t have to bring a thing. Just show up and enjoy. You could do all that and you know that some people still wouldn’t show up. So the Lord does. He prepares the feast of salvation. Unlike all the religions in the world, there is nothing for you to do. He’s done it all. He sent His Son Jesus. He sacrificed Him for your sins. He has raised Him from the dead. He has sent forth His preachers to preach and teach and baptize and dish out the Supper. He has done all that and yet there are people who just don’t care. It means nothing to them. They don’t want it. So it was with the Jews of Jesus’ day. They rejected Him. Forty years later, The Lord gave them what they wanted and the Romans wiped Jerusalem off the map. Meanwhile the slaves of Christ have gone forth into the world to drag in anyone they could find. The good. The bad. Doesn’t matter. Jesus died for them and the party is theirs to enjoy. Yours to enjoy!

The host even provides the wedding garment. What does that point to? Being dressed with Christ, his righteousness. His holiness. His forgiveness. Faith. The Holy Spirit. All of that. Your baptism. Absolution. The Father brings you in to His feast that He has prepared and it’s all yours. Don’t over think it. Just enjoy it! Celebrate the marriage feast of the Lamb. The union of the Bridegroom, Jesus united to His bride, the church, from whom He has washed away every spot and wrinkle and stain of sin. And yet there’s a guy that decided he was dressed fine with his own clothes. Or maybe he didn’t want to be there. Doesn’t matter. He was not wearing the wedding garment. And when asked why not, he had nothing to say. When someone asks why YOU are at the party, the only thing to say is, “The Lord dragged me in here. Since it’s on His dime, I’m gonna enjoy it! Feast away!” That means live life as one who is free in Jesus! Enjoy the feast! Celebrate that your sins are wiped out! Love and serve you neighbor and enjoy the feast with them! But don’t think to enjoy this feast without the clothing of Christ. If you want to wear your own good works or life or ideas, then repent! You’ve been given the clothes to wear for this wedding and you’ll never look better than how the Lord has dressed you!

Now I want you to notice something. The people who are at that wedding feast are both “the good and the bad.” That is, they are there without reference to how they live or what they do. Of course, we’re all sinners but the point is that it isn’t more or less sins that get you an invitation. The grace of the host is what brings you in. Christ is your Savior and this feast is for you no matter who you are or what you have done or not done. And at the wedding, the wedding garment covers the good and the bad. If you’re a good person, don’t worry, you’re still covered by Jesus! Same with a bad person. Covered by Jesus. What gets the guy thrown out is that He rejects the garment. Rejects Christ. Rejects faith. Rejects Christ’s baptism and Supper. That’s our warning. Not to toss off the wedding garment. Not to neglect the gifts of Christ by which we are clothed and remain clothed with Jesus. Don’t stop coming to church, hearing Christ’s Word, receiving Christ’s body and blood. But also never doubt that there is never going to be a cover charge for this party. No admission price to this feast. It is yours. Christ has been sacrificed. The feast is ready. Come to the feast! It’s been made for you. It’s all a gift. No strings attached. Forgiveness. Eternal life. Enjoy! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.