From The Pastors

Invited to the Feast

From
April 29, 2022

From the Pastor

“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 22:8-10)

The theme of invitations occurs frequently in the Word of the Lord. Sometimes, it is the Lord inviting His people to follow Him. At other times, it is the Lord instructing His people to go out and invite new people. One kind of invitation that happens repeatedly is an invitation to a feast.

A feast is a gathering in which people come together to eat and drink with one another, but also to enjoy one another’s company and conversation. At its best, a feast is a party in which people grow closer to one another while learning from one another’s perspectives and from one another’s wisdom from experience, while also enjoying nourishing and delightful food and drink. A perfect feast is an event that nourishes both the body and the soul of all who attend.

Feasts in the Word (as in life today) are often held to celebrate some important event, either to commemorate something important from the past (e.g., holy day feasts) or to kick off something wonderful and new (like at a wedding). The greatest of all feasts in the Word is the sharing of the last Passover meal among the disciples, which we commemorate in the church every time we celebrate Holy Supper.

Given all that can be said of feasts, it is not hard to see how a feast in the Word is also a symbol of a key function of the Lord’s kingdom—both of heaven and of the church. Whenever we gather to worship, to serve others, or to support one another, we are participating in a spiritual “feast”.

And feasts don’t work if you don’t invite anyone to come. A party without invitations is a sad affair. But whom should we invite?

Repeatedly, in the Lord’s Word, we are taught that it is not enough to just invite those we are already close with, nor is it good to invite with the idea of benefiting oneself. Rather, we are to go out and invite people who are in need of help, who are outside of our inner circle of comfort, and to do so in a way that focuses on their benefit, not ours.

Friends, the future existence of the Washington New Church is in some part dependent on its members taking responsibility to invite new people in. We can handle some of the “inviting” through things like paid advertising, signs out on the road, and other such impersonal, institutional means. But in the end, the invitations that work the best are the personal ones. A sign, a website, an advertisement—these can’t really communicate love the way a one-on-one conversation can.

Break out of your comfort zone. Try inviting someone. Invite them to Sunday worship, but also invite them to the gatherings by the fire on Wednesday nights. Invite them to check out our school. Invite them to participate in a community service project. And invite them to participate in a small group or to come to one of our social events like the community barbecue we are having later this month.

And invite them because you believe they will benefit from the invitation. Because there are people out there who definitely would gain from what we have to offer. And along the way, we will also benefit from what they bring to the group. This is how the next generation of our church community will be built.

“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.” (Luke 14:13-14)

Rev. Glenn “Mac” Frazier

Pastor, Washington New Church

2022-04-28

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