There once was a man who threw a wedding feast for his son. The table was laid out. The feast was ready, but those invited made all kinds of excuses. When the master heard this, he invited anyone along the highways and byways to come to the table. When they came there was still room at the table, which had been left open for those who refused the invitation, and so the man continued to welcome anyone until every place was filled.
This passage in Matthew 22 draws me into it. I wonder who would refuse the invitation to the son’s wedding feast? Who would be too busy? Who would find excuses to avoid this celebration? Those who thought highly of themselves? Those who felt what was happening in their lives was more important than celebrating?
But what really gets me is his response. Fill the table. Fill it with anyone who will come. All are welcomed. All are asked to take a seat. All are invited to the feast. Anyone who doesn’t come for one reason or another is not forced. The father simply finds others who are willing. The poor. The outcasts. The overlooked. Those on the outside, looking in the windows, longing to belong. Those who yearn to be accepted. I am one of them. You may be as well. Those of us who could only hope for crumbs have been elevated to places of honor! Only God could stoop and do such a thing. Only love would.
The Christ Candle is lit today. The hope, peace, joy and love of the season are personified in him. The baby in Mary’s arms comes to invite us all to the table. It is his feast, in his honor. We celebrate going from crumbs to the full meal of all he has for us. Amazing grace. How sweet the sound. The light from the Christ Candle spreads throughout the world, from him to us and from us to each other, on this day and every day. Joyous Noel!
You are invited to my table. Please do not walk away from it. Celebrate with me. Join in the party of grace. Let it fall over you like rain. Rejoice in the way I made for you. Come to me. Let the baby bring you. Because of him, you are welcomed. You are accepted. You belong. Welcome to the feast. No crumbs for you, only the best. Rejoice, always!