"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son." (Mt 22:2)
It is always amazing to note how often the Bible uses the setting of a meal to help us understand God’s care for us. Both Isaiah and Matthew tell of a grand banquet that God has prepared, but it is important to note that there were two distinct kinds of feasts in the ancient world. The first, known as a ceremonial feast, would have been something a local political leader might host by inviting people to the anniversary of his ascension to power, or the wedding of one of his children. Everything would be provided for his guests, even a wedding garment if they had none. Guests had only to enjoy themselves and be grateful.
The second was known as a ritual feast. A king or local tetrarch might host a festive gathering when his son came of age or entered the military. This kind of feast signaled a transformation in someone’s life, a time when new expectations were thrust upon the one being celebrated, a time to rejoice but also to change, which is the point of the text.
Do we accept God’s mantle of love, God's wedding garment, that calls us to let go of sin and self centeredness in order to live a life of gratitude and service? If we fail to be grateful, we align ourselves with the man who chooses to come to the wedding banquet, but is not willing to change. In fact, we condemn ourselves. It is not God’s generosity that is lacking, it is our unwillingness to accept ourselves as God sees us and live in gratitude.
Pray today to see yourself as God sees you, a person of great dignity and value. Pray too to see others as God seems them.
Does gratitude for God's gifts mark your life?