God’s Word for Today: Banquet
Matthew 22:2-3 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.”
What picture comes to your mind when you envision a banquet? I am thinking a huge, almost ostrich sized turkey, browned to perfection, sitting on a silver platter in the middle of the table, ready to be consumed. A huge bowl of potatoes on one side, a gravy boat steaming with, well delicious aromas of mouth savoring goodness. (I like gravy.) Maybe a heaping dish of corn with a huge pat of butter slowly melting down. And goblets. Big, gaudy looking brass goblets ready to be filled with the finest wine from Portugal. The clearest of all crystal glasses filled with ice cold spring fresh water, just ready to rinse your palette for the next taste of perfection. And pie, we can’t forget the pie. Maybe I will even have a piece of it first before any other part of the banquet.
That is my vision. Here is reality. Family gets together on a Sunday afternoon. The host is busy over a makeshift form of carbon, emitting just enough heat to slowly cook a freshly butchered hunk of meat. Actually, several hunks of meat. The men stand around and give their advice on the proper way to barbecue. A vast amount of intelligence is shared.
The ladies gather in the kitchen, mutilating a head of cabbage, boiling potatoes, cooking mandioca, cassava, arrowroot, yucca, or whatever other root plant is native for the area. Salads are being thrown together. I cannot attest to the subject matter being discussed. Any man with any common sense stays far away from the kitchen during this time. Besides, all the important subjects are being discussed around the barbecue.
Can’t forget the kids. They are running everywhere and getting into everything they probably shouldn’t. Life is good, life is simple, it is easy to laugh. Stay out of Mom’s eyesight, and who cares if we get a little dirty before the banquet. We can even run around the legs of the men gathered around the fire. They don’t seem to notice much of anything.
Which banquet do you prefer? Everyone knows they are going to be most uncomfortable and full after either meal. Every person attending made their contribution. Members of the family who couldn’t make it to the banquet are genuinely missed and longed for. Their stories are shared anyway. Prayers for them are a part of the banquet.
God calls you to His banquet too. Today’s verse is just an excerpt from a very important and eye opening parable. I encourage you to read all of Matthew 22 sometime today. It even includes a little drama at the banquet where someone gets ejected. The story has a sad moment too. People too busy with their own lives to come enjoy the banquet.
Today, think about where you stand in God’s banquet. Have you been invited, but the rigors of life just keep you too busy to attend? Are you one who is so busy preparing the banquet, you forget to stop and enjoy it. Or, are you still looking for the perfect banquet, because the last one you went to was full of well, not the best people. Maybe it is the other way around. You feel like you can’t attend God’s banquet because you are not good enough. That is where you are wrong my friend. God has invited everyone to his banquet. Everyone. It is up to you to attend, take part, eat, drink, and enjoy the blessing God has laid out for you…………
Prayer: Dear Lord, master of the ultimate, life’s banquet. Thank you for my invitation. Forgive me for the times I have missed your meal. Help me to always have time for you and for members of your family. Also Lord, help me to invite a friend to attend your banquet too. In Jesus’, who used a banquet to invite us all to join Him in heaven, name I pray. Amen and amen.