Then he said to his servants, "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. Matthew 22:8-10
Pauline Bailey and Paul Carty were getting married.
As they were both reasonably successful, they decided to do it up right. Doing it up right meant having their reception at the five-star Stoke Park Hotel.
When the representative of the hotel asked the bride to cough up £10,000 ($16,000) for 30 guests, she didn't blink an eye. When the hotel suggested the couple spend an extra £1000 for a fireworks display, the bridge and groom thought it was a grand idea.
The hotel said "We will call you after we've checked the calendar." Instead of being called, Miss Bailey received an e-mail from their contact at the hotel. Flabbergasted and in disbelief, she read the letter. In part it said, "I am trying to put this wedding off as I don't think they are the type of people that we would want to have at Stoke Park."
Only when she had finished reading, did Bailey realize the e-mail was supposed to go to someone at the hotel and not her. In quick succession she was ashamed, shocked and outraged. In disbelief she asked, "Isn't my money as good as that of anyone else?" Apparently, her money was just as good, but in the eyes of the person at the hotel, she and her fiancé weren't.
The hotel has apologized.
When I read that story, I couldn't stop myself from comparing the attitude of Stoke Park Hotel with that of our divine Father in heaven. For example,
* Stoke Park wants only the very best clientele to use their facilities, while the Lord has opened heaven to everyone, including the chief of sinners and the dregs of society;
* Stoke Park demands you pay an exorbitant fee to take care of a few people, while, because of Jesus' blood, the doors to heaven are freely open to all;
* Stoke Park keeps people waiting and wondering if they've been accepted while the Lord says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved."
We could go on, but it would be pointless.
The truth is Stoke Park isn't as classy a joint as they think they are, and God is far more gracious than we can imagine.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we have seen Your incredible love for us in the Savior's life, death and resurrection. For what You have done to save my soul, I give thanks. Now, help me share Jesus with those whom You would see saved. Help me bear witness to the Savior, so heaven's wedding banquet may be standing-room only. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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