Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Party Poopers (1 of 3)

In the parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14),Jesus describes three kinds of people in relation to the king's invitation to party.

The first group -- which had already been invited -- refused to come. Various translations describe their reaction as being indifferent, as going their own way, to their own farm, to their own business. Like the guys who always had a test to study for, and the ladies who were always washing their hair, they were the Party Poopers.

Why would they decline? Everybody wants to go to parties thrown by the prominent, the wealthy, the powerful, if only to see whether the groom's cake or bride's cake is better, and how high the champaign fountain is (non-alcoholic, of course).

In those days, the host at such significant events provided everything, including the clothes that the guests wore. So people attending were paying tribute to the king's guest of honor, eating the king's food, using the king's china and flatware, enjoying the king's entertainment, wearing the king's clothes, and admiring the king's (non-alcoholic) champaign fountain.

It would be poor form for invitees to draw attention to themselves, their farms, their businesses while sipping the king's (non-alcoholic) champaign and dancing to the king's rock band. In other words, the invitees would have to forget themselves, their accomplishments, their work, and instead enjoy the king's bounty.

For some, this is impossible, and they prefer to piddle in their own pitiful worlds than rejoice in the banquet of the true king.

For others, an invitation to focus attention on the wealth of the king is too much, the suggestion that their own accomplishments don't really amount to anything and are nothing anyone would want to party about, anyway, is too humiliating, and the deflation of their pride leads to anger in their heart and to murder on their hands.

Little has changed. Men still decline the king's invitation because they can't accept acknowledging the superior value of his bounty.

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