October 11, 2020

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost


  • First reading and Psalm
    • Exodus 32:1-14
    • Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
  • Alternate First reading and Psalm
    • Isaiah 25:1-9
    • Psalm 23
  • Second reading
    • Philippians 4:1-9
  • Gospel
    • Matthew 22:1-14

Gospel Reading from Matthew

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come.

The Marriage Feast,
Millais, John Everett, 1829-1896.
from Art in the Christian Tradition,
a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library,
Nashville, TN.

Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedd ing banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business,while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them.

The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so 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 a wedding robe and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless.

Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Sermon on the Gospel reading

Pastor Stevensen in his sermon admits that the gospel reading this week is difficult to interpret. In it a king gives a banquet, a common metaphor for our God, but guests who do not come our his people. Few ministers use it for their sermon text. But Pastor knows of one who did and spoke of it as gospel of great joy. We are the people who come to the wedding banquet. Those who do not come do intend to come, someday. The parable is a caution. Our communion table is the marriage feast, or the feast to come. This is our real King. We come to church and feel the essence of Him.

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