The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.' And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. Matthew 22:8b-10
Scanning the news for these Daily Devotions, I've become impressed at how timeless are the words of Scripture.
That is certainly true in regard to today's message.
Recently, Reuters News Service carried an article about how, in tough times, the people of Japan are continuing to throw big weddings. Indeed, in Japan, it's customary to have as many family members, friends, and co-workers attend a wedding as is possible.
When those guests come to the wedding, they don't sit down and observe -- not at all. Bosses give speeches; friends put on plays; family members socialize. It's quite an occasion.
But what happens if Uncle Bob drinks too much or your cousins can't come? What's to be done if your boss is a jerk?
No problem, according to Hiroshi Mizutani of Office Agents in Tokyo. For $200, Office Agents will rent you a guest for your wedding. For another $50, that rented guest can perform a song or dance. If you really need your hired guest to step up, for an additional $100 he can deliver a speech that will bring tears to the eyes of the legitimate partiers.
Does this sound familiar at all?
Jesus' story about the wedding feast has some remarkable parallels to what is happening in Japan. For example, in both situations the people who were invited -- who were supposed to come to the wedding -- didn't. Then, left without guests, the wedding hosts got creative.
So the Japanese wedding hall may be full, they rent their guests. In Jesus' story, the servants go out and recruit them. Either way, the goal is a full house.
On the other hand, there is a difference. If you miss a Japanese wedding, it won't be the end of the world, but if you skip the heavenly feast, it's an omission you will regret forever.
So you may be at the unending wedding party of heaven, Jesus paid a great price. No, not $200 or even $300, Jesus gave His life as the price to get you there. His was a great sacrifice and a gracious one-of-a-kind invitation for which we should be thankful.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for making sure I am invited to Your wedding feast in heaven, I am overjoyed. Now may I do all I can to make sure Your invitation is given to others. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries