An Invitation To The Wedding


Several years ago my wife and I attended three different marriage receptions for friends of ours on the same weekend.  Receptions are wonderful occasions for the entire family of the bride and groom. Often,  huge expense is incurred in order to celebrate the union of the couple.  Having married children, I know of the painstaking time and energy it takes to come up with a final guest list. It is an honor to put someone on that list and an honor to be on someone else’s list. Consequently, one should make every effort to be available to attend because you know how badly you wanted others to attend the wedding reception of your child. In other words, a party with no guests, is well……..not a party!

So, it comes as no surprise that the Savior used a “marriage invite” as a parable to teach a lesson. Perhaps you remember the story.

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son.And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.”(Matt. 22: 2-6)

The king sent out not one, but two invitations to the marriage of his son. And those he invited, his friends and those he loved, RSVP’ed twice that they weren’t coming. It wasn’t like his friends were out-of-town; they just felt like it was more important to work on their farms, or businesses. They didn’t want to lose any work time! In fact, they were so rude they even shot the postmen who were delivering the invitation. The king was furious. So, as the story goes…

“… Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was furnished with guests. (verses 8-10).

The king couldn’t hold a “reception” without guests. So, in his anger he decides “to heck” with his supposed “friends”; he tells his servants to invite anyone who will come, even the common beggar off the streets. In conclusion the story is summed up with the statement, “For many are called, but few are chosen”. (vs. 14).

So what is the point of the parable. Jesus was talking about the gift of the gospel being presented to His chosen friends, the Jews. They got the invite to enter the kingdom of heaven. But as a people they rejected it. They had more important things to do than to listen to the “messengers”, the prophets. They not only RSVP’ed that they weren’t interested, they killed the messengers, the prophets. So, the Lord sent out the invitation to the lowly “gentiles” of all nations to come to the feast; to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And many have!

But more important is the personal message that his parable has to teach us. We have received the “invitation” to the wedding. How much value do we place on that invitation? Will we take the time to attend or do we have “more “important” things to do. Heavenly Fathers loves us all. The invitation is out to each of us to be at the feast. It’s up to us, not only to RSVP that we want to be there; but that we are willing to sacrifice in making the journey to get there. Whatever sacrifice we need to make, the Lord’s  feast will be worth it!

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