3. By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who understand the sharing of bread and wine in Jesus’s name to be a representation of an ancient vision of God’s feast for all peoples…
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
“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.’
“But they paid no attention and went off – one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22.1-14)
I love this parable. I have yet to do any exegetical work, or in-depth study with it, but I think that’s okay. What a beautiful story. All those who were invited never showed up…why? They had work to do; they had fields to take care of, business to be done, ministries to start and people to save…they gave up their spot at the wedding banquet table for who…? For nobody but the lowliest of the lowly…the nobodies…the ragamuffins. In the words of the king, he says, "Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet ANYONE you find." Anyone…he’s not getting picky now – the king has a banquet, a beautiful wedding banquet and he wants it to be experienced, shared and eaten by anyone who would come. There are now no restrictions…he wants anyone who will come. And so the servants go out to find the "anyone." And they bring them in: "…and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad" – no prerequesites here. Anyone is welcome. The good, the bad and the ugly. [Yah, I’ll go ahead and acknowledge my WTF?! when it comes to the last paragraph and the guest who was not wearing the wedding clothes…anyone want to help me with that one?]
God’s table is where God wants us to be nourished…Come…all who are thirsty…come from the street corners…come you who are good and you who are bad…come and eat…