Friday, November 3, 2023

The Invitation - Martin Wiles

the invitation
When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come! Matthew 22:3 NLT

Never had I received such an invitation.

“Uncle Martin, would you marry me?”

I knew I was my niece’s second choice, but her first choice was unavailable. My Dad—and her Papa Buddy—had died eleven years prior. Had he still been alive, he would have received the call. 

“Of course, I will.” 

I didn’t mind being second choice in this case. I was glad she thought enough of her old uncle to ask him. But when my wife and I received the invitation and learned where she and her fiancĂ© planned to marry, our eyes lit up. 

That they didn’t plan to marry in a church didn’t surprise me. Not that they had anything against church. The marriage trend just happened to be away from churches and toward barns and other outdoor settings. Theirs would be held in a ritzy retirement town in the mountains of North Carolina. When my wife and I discovered how much the designated guests would have to pay to attend, our mouths dropped. We were glad someone was covering our cost. Otherwise, we would have had to decline the invitation. 

And the event would not merely be a one-day affair. The rehearsal would consume a half of a day, the wedding an entire day, and brunch a half of the next day before the new couple took off for parts unknown on their honeymoon. I’ve officiated at a number of weddings—and attended even more—but never had I attended such a fancy affair. I only hoped I could measure up to the expectations of the gala affair. 

Unfortunately, COVID happened, and my niece had to change plans. As fancy as my niece’s invitation was, God’s outshines it. Jesus compares it to a man who held a great wedding feast, but when his servants scattered about to tell the guests the feast was ready, the guests all made excuses as to why they couldn’t come. He then sent his servants to get anyone who wanted to come. 

God calls the wedding He wants us to attend salvation—our choosing to follow Jesus as our Savior. We don’t have to attend, just as I didn’t have to accept my niece’s offer to marry her and her fiancĂ©. I could have concocted some excuse.

Accepting God’s invitation puts us in good graces with God and prepares us for a life and an eternity such as we could never imagine. An affair extravaganza. An abundant life. Life as it should be. Life as He created us to live. All God requires is that we accept His invitation. 

Don’t discard God’s invitation. The feast is one you won’t want to miss.

Father, thank You for inviting me to your grand eternity. 

Tweetable: Have you accepted God's invitation? 

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