Matthew 22:1-14 Children can follow along in Spark page 304 (and another passage about the kingdom of heaven in Shine On page 254).
7 The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.
This is a tough passage for me to read. I simply do not want to picture the kingdom/nation of heaven (and God and Jesus) as a king willing to kill. But I also realize that is not the message. If this was the message, then it supports killing those who have killed. It would be a passage to support one's military killing so-called terrorists and other soldiers who are not part of our kingdom of God. But again, this is not the message of this passage. Instead, this is about the strength of God's "nation." It is about condemning those who refuse to take part. Just like a wedding feast, which should be a splendid time, if you do not have the time for God's ways, then you are condemning yourself.
I realize how little time we have for God in this day and age of being busy, distracted, tired and stressed. If you are poorer, then you likely spend much energy trying to simply make financial ends meet for housing, food and healthcare. If you are more affluent, then you likely spend much energy deciding between all the options in your life, and taking advantage of all the opportunities in your life. I realize daily in my own life how intentional Crystal and I must be in our lives to focus on our relationship, on our spirituality, and community in our life. We do not always get the depth we would prefer or think we need. Some things feel out of our control, yet we also realize that many things are in our control if we're willing to go against the opinion of our friends, family and neighbors. It doesn't mean that we will go against them, but we have to at least be willing.
For me, this passage is a reminder to be intentional about my time. I do not want to miss the beauty in the tasks and relationships and rest and experiences that are deeper than my love of work, netflix, consuming and scheduling. These are not necessarily bad things, but do I do them with God's ways at the center, or do I do them in a way that forgets my core identity and God's core invitation? Do they lead me towards community, simplicity, peace and service? Or do they lead me against and away from community, simplicity, peace and service?
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.