The Possibilities of Spring
We come this Sunday to our third season in Creation Time: Spring. After the cold, dark, and fallowness of wintertime, Spring is always welcome – a sense of possibility, newness, growth, and surprise come with this season.
In the Gospel today (Matthew 22:1-10) Jesus tells the story of a king who gives a wedding banquet for his son – certainly one of the most significant parties one ever throws, tied up with the hopes and dreams we have for our children. He sends advance invitations (the first-century equivalent of “save-the-date” cards), and the guests reply. Then when the moment comes, he sends messengers to bring in the guests who had promised to come. Then all hell breaks loose.
The guests give excuses for not coming – new property purchases, recent marriage, new livestock to tend. The king is not amused. (Here the story lapses into hyperbole about murder and mayhem among the guests and the king’s servants. This seems to be a reference to the historical misfortune of prophets (messengers or slaves), and the destruction of Jerusalem 40 years after Jesus told this parable. Thus, these violent outbursts are probably not original to Jesus’ parable, but added later.)
What I take from this story is about God’s invitation to us to step away from our day-to-day lives and consider something new. There’s a banquet laid for us in life, but we have to be willing to step out, explore what’s new, and perhaps change our course in life from time to time. Aunty Mame of Broadway fame once said, “Life’s a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” That’s what can happen when we don’t accept God’s invitation to try new things, explore new possibilities, new callings, new ministries. What better way to honor Spring? JBM