Invitation to a Feast.

Isaiah 25, 6-10a + Philippians 4, 12-14, 19-20 + Matthew 22, 1-14

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Isaiah and Matthew both beckon us to a feast today, while Paul teaches us about our attachment to material goods and our trust in God.

Paul states his cause plainly. "I know how to live in humble circumstances, and I know how to live with abundance." He finds this "lifestyle" in his absolute trust in Jesus, his strength is in the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth, and with this Lord, he can endure anything.

What advice this is for those of us who live in the wealthy and powerful United States of America! Do we understand how to live in abundance? No we do not, and if we were to lose our abundance, would we know how to live in poverty? Not likely. We trust in our own strength, in bountiful stocks of nuclear weapons, powerful banking institutions, creative technology, and our own growing national reputation as "America the Merciless: Don't mess with us, boys, or we'll destroy your country."

Isaiah beckons us to a feast of peace, of abundant foods and choice drinks. Jesus gives us a parable about his rejection by his own people. Since the invited guests will not come, the invitation is sent our into the highways and villages -- "Come to the feast." But one guy shows up, "not dressed for the occasion." He gets thrown out. Hmmm. . . maybe this means that isn't enough to just show up, you've got to do something -- "Wear the robe", be part of the community, actively engage your faith. The call to Christian journey is not for observers, rather, it is for participants, people who do not merely say "Lord, Lord" but who actively "do the will of the Lord."

Thoughts on orthopraxis: How often do I just show up and don't do anything, when the "Gospel Call" sounds? What kind of attachment do I have to the material things in my life? If all of them disappeared tomorrow, and I found myself homeless, would I know what to do and how to live? Who do I trust in for strength?

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