Jul
21

Trinity II Sunday

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Trinity II
Luke 14 16-24

“I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet. ”

Excuses! Excuses!

People make all kinds of excuses for not coming to Jesus or not doing what God asks them to do. Some are busy; some are too “smart”; some are too religious to repent; some are too proud that they don’t even need to come to church.

As you can see in our text today, Jesus focused on this matter. The story that he told is of three kinds of men together with their empty reasons for not responding to the invitation that is given. The supper time is this present age. The supper itself refers to the blessings that God has in store for men.

This parable sets forth great spiritual facts:

  1.  That God has provided the feast where mankind is invited to eat and drink of the bread and water of life.
  2. That not everyone who is invited will accept the invitation.
  3. That men will make excuse rather than face the main issue.

We presume that these people have been invited because they had some form of relationship with the man who invited them.

“Come, for all is now ready. ” “But,” you object, “I am not worthy to come. My clothes are not suitable. I wouldn’t know how to act in the Master’s palace.” None of this makes any difference. The invitation goes out to all. The good news is that you don’t have to be perfect to come. Come as you are – with all of your sins and sorrows, weaknesses and failures, problems and anxieties. Come to the only One who can forgive you and heal you. Come to the only One who can make you worthy.

“Come, for all is now ready. ” Coming to Jesus is a way of life. It begins with baptism. It involves daily commitment, repentance, obedience, worship, prayer, Bible reading, and regular communion. It involves a daily walk with Jesus. It involves not only “Come!” but also “Go!” “Go out into the world and be my disciples. Be servants. Be lights. Be salt.”

The Kingdom of God has different social values than the Kingdom of this world. Status in the Kingdom of God is not attained through birthright, participation in ritual or membership in any religious institution.
Attendance at this “Kingdom Banquet” is based on a response to his invitation for forgiveness, submission to His authority and commitment to the continued building of His kingdom. In other words, it is based on the condition of the heart toward God. We are talking about personal relationship here.

The same holds truth about coming to church every Sunday and being involved in the life of the community, the family of God. We don’t come to church to please people, but to answer a call. It is God our Creator that calls us every Sunday to come and taste how good he is. No excuse can justify our absence to the worship that takes place in the house of God every Sunday.

What Jesus is pointing out here is that most of the time, we take the rich and abundant blessings of God in our lives as the excuse to forget God and even reject his invitations. On the other hand, Jesus is warning us that those who have no standing, no value, and no reason to be included in the great goodness of God, will be compelled into the banquet.

The question to you this morning is this: “ what is your excuse?”
Nothing is worth the loss of this one thing, for what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, and to lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give for his soul?

That “one thing” is Jesus. He is the author of our salvation and the giver of our hope. He died for us. He is the one that calls us every day to his banquet, not the Bishop, not the priest, or the preacher. Jesus calls you…He calls you…He calls you again.

Our gospel lesson this morning urges us to consider the excuse given by those characters in the parable, and to examine our own lives to see if we are drifting toward the same sort of excuse. One way to approach that is to ask yourself, “what is your excuse?”

In the Name of the Father, and the of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Amen!