Lectionary Year A
October 13, 2002

Matthew 22:1-14
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) We aim at describing God as Creator, Redeemer and Friend, as Jesus seems to be trying to do in most of the Gospels, perhaps in the original parable reported here.

B. Describing the Audience

(JFC) Any congregation needing a truly new picture of the Old Testament God as the New Testament finds Jesus' picture portraying might appreciate a sermon from this text.

C. Address

(JFC) Sermon, entitled, for this working draft, "God as a Party Giving God"

Matthew might confuse us with the way he records this parable Jesus told. Today's Gospel Lesson makes the king, God, sound vindictive, mean and punitive. We know better. God is too loving, too forgiving, too salvivic for those descriptions. Let's see.

I. God
A. God readily hosts all parties, Communion, for one, all Worship Services, including Funerals, Weddings, Wedding Receptions, etc.
B. God attends and observes all present and all activities in which attendees participate. God is with us, Immanuel, even and perhaps as we celebrate.

II. Guests
A. Some, in the story, seem to have other things to do, like going on about their business and even mistreating the messengers, re: the Wedding Feast is readied, etc.
B. Some, eventually, do attend the Wedding Feast. They might be the usually and otherwise left-out, the marginalized, the unpopular, the unwashed, even, etc.

III. Results
A. God celebrates our inclusion, regardless of whether we have a custom-made tuxedo, a formal gown, or what. We here discover again, that it's what's on the inside that counts.
B. God lets us in, fraternizes with us and reminds us Christ is our invitation to the party of life and to the party of life everlasting. No wonder we are speechless some of the time.

God says, "Let's (Let US) have a party!" We say, "Yes, let's." So we party on with God as our Host. Life is a party with God as its Host and Christ as its model for enjoying it.

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