15 One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then Jesus[a] said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17 At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready now.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 20 Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 And the slave said, ‘Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’ 23 Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you,[b] none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.’ ”
Jesus often spoke in parables to get the attention of listeners. And this parable has gotten my attention each time I have read it. In some ways, the world we live in is God’s banquet. From the very first story of God and people in the bountiful garden in Genesis, there’s a party to which we have all been invited. Are we planning to attend today, to dine in the kingdom, or do we have an excuse?
God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, thank you so much for our birth and the invitation to the party of life. Let us fully engage in each day as disciples of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, so that your kingdom will come into focus in our lives. Amen.