The parable explaining the kingdom of heaven tells us so much. We could elaborate on the Son getting married and who His bride is, but that’s obvious. We could look at the invited dinner guests in comparison to those who showed up to celebrate. The man who didn’t dress up certainly makes a statement about this whole situation, doesn’t he? I’d probably have that problem- I believe I’ve made myself clear that I’m not one who loves to dress up.
The piece of this parable that stuck out the most to me is the fact that Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a party. People were supposed to come together and have a good time. I like this kingdom. Jesus could have compared the kingdom to
A sweatshop: people come together under coercion and have to work
An athletic event: People gather with the intention to outdo each other
A gambling event: Humans congregate hoping to win money off each other
A show: One person carries the weight and responsibility of entertaining everyone else.
The thing about parties is they can be like Friday night: they can suck. How much of my pain came from my crappy attitude though? I attended an event with a girl and neither one of us enjoyed our time. Granted, it was entirely outside my comfort zone and it was full of humans I didn’t know, but who says they weren’t fun? Perhaps the enjoyment at this event and the humans in attendance was hidden, to be my discovery.
The other party- is how we should live, in my estimation. I can’t tell you how much pressure I’ve seen and experienced to work my tail off as a Christian. Witness, read your Bible and pray for an hour (each) every day, volunteer at the church because that’s real ministry. None of these is bad by the way, but we make all of it into something we have to do then we tell people we enjoy our religion. Or we tell them it isn’t about enjoyment but don’t fully understand how to practice asceticism anyway because nobody in America understands that game!
Remember, God redeemed our lives, not our deaths.
I’m not joking. This isn’t an indictment that’s specific my church, either. It’s a complaint against American Christian culture. We’ve made the kingdom of God as small as our local churches, minimized what it means to minister and sterilized fun into forms that won’t piss the most conservative humans off or in the name of avoiding causing someone to stumble. I’ve been to parties thrown for the sake of telling people about Jesus and you know what? Even the Jesus-people thought the experiences were weird.