It has been said that Christianity has not failed; it simply has not been tried yet.
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.” Like a “wedding feast,” a celebration of love is prepared by a father for his son and his bride. Why would anyone ignore such an invitation? Well, according to Matthew, some of the reasons included working on farms and taking care of businesses.
Go into any church on Sunday morning and you will see an array of people — old and young, rich and poor, people with differing physical and mental capabilities, married, single, tall, short, fat, thin — all coming to worship and to hear God’s command to love one another as God loves us. And then it’s over. “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” In other words, go to build the kingdom; go to love and serve the God we worship; go to live the word we hear; go to love one another as God has loved us, to be the Christians we profess to be. Go, and don’t forget to wear your “wedding garments.”
But sometimes it’s as though there were some kind of invisible coat rack at the door. We put on the garments as we enter, but take them off as we leave (maybe even tossing them on the floor in our hurry to get out of the parking lot before the crowd!).
“On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast …” How is this feast to be prepared? Who will be the bakers and the cooks? “Go … to love and serve …” As followers of Christ we are sent to be preparers of the feast, to be the hands and feet of Christ, to wear our wedding garments into our homes and apartments, our offices and our factories, our farms and our businesses.
Look around you. See the guests for whom you are sent to prepare the feast. Look in the mirror. How are you dressed today?
Van Benthem is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and a longtime pastoral minister, retreat leader, spiritual director and published writer and poet.