Dear Baptized of God, dear baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Many have no doubt read this parable, and thought, “this is nothing special. Just a another story. Wow, a king invites people to a party. Some come and some don’t. Big deal.”
But, children of God, those are not your thoughts, because you’ve been called by the Gospel. And by Grace, you’ve been given spiritual ears to hear, and a spiritual heart to believe and to love God’s Word. God’s Spirit gives you understanding in His Word. So Jesus says, “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.”
So by the power of His Spirit, these words today convey to you a meaning much deeper than what lies on the surface. It’s not just “another story.” It is certainly no ordinary story either, by any means. Because it is no ordinary king, and he sends no ordinary servant. This story has the Trinity written all over it. This king is none other than God the Father Almighty, who sends the Son, His only-begotten Son. And it is the Spirit who works in us, by the Word of the Son.
The king in the parable sends forth who with the invitation? A servant. For in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son… yet, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Some might think the most humiliating thing Jesus did as a Servant, was to wash the feet of His own disciples, yet, He went so much further than that by taking the blame, and the guilt, and the punishment for every single thing we’ve ever done wrong, or ever will.
There’s your meal. There’s your Supper, the banquet, to which you and I, and all people are invited. Jesus lived, died, and rose again for every single soul. That must mean He did it for you and me. That is food for our soul.
So…the call goes out. “Come; for all things are now ready.”
And what happened? They didn’t want it. They didn’t want Jesus. For He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. How sad. They were looking for a much different kind of Savior. One who would grant them their earthly desires, and restore power to their earthly kingdom.
Things aren’t so different today. “Lord, that’s such a nice thing you’re offering me. But…no thanks. I’ve got better things to do.”
By Grace, that’s not our attitude, yet, we must confess, w hat we often forget is that the invitation comes not only Sunday morning, but daily, through God's Word and Spirit, through the Word in our memory, in our conscience, in our heart and soul, for God’s Spirit lives and moves within us by the Word. “know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”
So Christ invites us daily, to put everything away, put everything aside, even if it’s just for the shortest moment, and to simply feast on His Word, remember our Baptism, and find rest for our eternal soul.
“Come; for all things are now ready.” Is there anything more beautiful than these words? Is there anything more inviting? More comforting? More assuring? “ All things are now ready.” Everything is prepared. Everything is accomplished for your salvation. Just come, take, eat, drink, as Jesus says, this is My body, this is My blood, given and shed for you, for the remission of all your sin. As great as that specific meal is, the Supper of Salvation to which Jesus refers today, includes even more than that. It is also your Baptism, where water and Word are combined to wash all our sins away. It is also the Gospel, the good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. It is also the absolution, the pronouncement that your sins are taken away, as far as the east is from the west.
And the Lord is never stingy with what He provides in the meal. He doesn’t give us a little taste and then send us away still hungering. He doesn’t forgive some sins, and leave others for us to pay for. That is the lie of purgatory, that we just haven’t quite gotten all our sins taken care of yet. Gotta spend time in a place where we will suffer to pay for those sins not yet taken care of. That’s a lie. Jesus meant what He said when He said on the cross, “It is finished.” And now He says, clearly, “Come, for all things are now ready.” Not, “well, some day it might be ready, after years in purgatory.” Not, “sometime later, maybe, it will be ready.” He says, “Come, for all things are now ready.”
Everything is prepared already. Everything is complete already. Nothing is left undone regarding our salvation. To this feast, we are to come just as we are, no matter how great our sins have been. Just come , e at, drink, receive, and believe, and we do find rest unto our souls.
And the wisdom of the world says, “That’s so boring. I gotta have something more than that. I gotta be entertained, I gotta be wowed. And, I’ve got better things to do. Besides which, who needs that Jesus stuff when I’ve got my earthly things, and my earthly relationships?” But the recent tornados only prove that this life is not guaranteed, and our earthly possessions are not forever. Even marriage, which God created, is not forever.
Yet, those were the excuses given. One had to tend to his field, another to his animal, another to his wife. Posessions, careers, family are by no means unimportant. God calls on us to take care of these very things.
But what are those things in comparison to our Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, the gift of God’s Spirit and faith, and eternal life? All our earthly things will be gone some day. But the Word of our God shall stand forever. And those who cling to it, will live forever.
We need Christ. We need His promises. We need to know He has made satisfaction for all our sins. We need to know He made perfect peace between God and man.
Children of God, baptized of God, you have that assurance, that comfort, by the means of Grace, and by God’s Spirit working through those means of Grace.
The Gospel gives what cannot fade away. It gives us eternal life in Christ. It sets us free from the power of sin. It gives us a clear conscience. It covers us in Christ’s righteousness. We need His perfect life to be saved, and to be counted worthy to enter heaven. We need forgiveness for our many sins. We need deliverance from death. We need Christ who rose from the grave. We need His supper. And His supper has everything our spiritual hunger requires. “Come; for all things are now ready.”“Come unto Me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” And we do find rest unto our souls, and our thirst is quenched.
Jesus says, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” “Come; for all things are now ready.”