(Jesus said) "A king... sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast." But they paid no attention and went off ... 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. So the wedding hall was filled with guests." Matthew 22:4b-5a, 8-10
Can you tell me what can eat 50 pounds of ham or ten turkeys?
Although you may have come up with a right answer, it probably isn't the answer I'm looking for in this devotion. The answer I want to hear is "a Zanger family get-together."
You probably don't know the Zangers, so allow me to make an introduction. We begin with Quincy, Illinois, residents Leo and Ruth, who have been married for 59 years. Leo and Ruth are in love and that love has produced 12 children.
Those children also have taken seriously the Lord's command to be "fruitful and multiply," (see Genesis 1:28), which is just a fancy way of saying Ruth and Leo have 53 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Now if you are doing the math, this means the Zangers now have 99 grand, great-grand, and great-great-grandchildren. Actually, the recent birth of Jaxton Leo Zanger, makes it an even 100.
Speaking about the 100, Leo says, "We just love them all."
And the Zangers do have opportunities to love them all. The Zangers have five "mandatory" holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, and Father's Day. Having so many people in a private residence is a violation of fire codes, so the group usually rents a church hall for their celebrations: galas where they consume the aforementioned mass quantities of ham and turkey.
Now that's all interesting stuff, but the thing which most intrigued me was Ruth's statement: "There's always room for one more."
Can you imagine ... 100-plus people coming together ... and hoping to get a few more!
It almost sounds like the king in the Savior's parable; indeed, it almost sounds like our Lord. Loving us all, the Lord wants everyone to come to His banquet table. So the world might be saved is why He sent His Son into the world. So the world might be saved is why Jesus fulfilled the Law, kept the Commandments, resisted Satan's temptations, and gave His life on the cross. His third-day resurrection from the dead says the work of getting the banquet ready is done.
The celebration is prepared, and it's time for the guests to show up.
So that might happen, the Lord sends out His servants: that's you, me, your church, your Synod, LWML, and Lutheran Hour Ministries. God is our King who loves us and He has told us, "Make sure the invitation to faith and heaven is heard by everyone."
It's a job we're glad to do. After all, at God's table there's always room for one more.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Jesus has done the work, and You have prepared places in heaven for the sinners of this world, who are called to forgiveness and faith. May we do all we can to make sure the message is heard by all those around us. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries