One of the most important expressions of our diversity and unity happens at the table. Eating together is an intimate act. Breaking bread with a neighbor is a sign of peace and reconciliation.
Notice in this parable what happens when those who were invited to the feast reject the invitation because they were too busy and distracted.
1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:
2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.
3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.
6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.
7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.
9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’
10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
When the invited guests declined to come to the feast, the King generously opened the party to everyone else: people standing on the street corners, people sipping tea in the coffee shops, farmers in their fields and bankers at their desks, and mothers chasing their children around the house, all are invited to come to the feast.
If Holy Communion is, as the Bible says, a foretaste of this kind of heavenly banquet, then we should notice: Who is at the table? Who is missing? What are we willing to do to invite them and welcome them in Jesus’ name?
Merciful God, who sets before us a feast so that we may be filled to overflowing with your grace, give me ears to hear the invitation to come to the table, and a heart big enough to welcome every person to join in, remembering that you are the host, and I am your beloved guest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.