Reimagining Popular Parables: Parable of the Wedding Banquet.

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.



Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen


Almighty God

to whom all hearts be open

all desires known

and from whom no secrets are hidden;

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you

and worthily magnify your holy name

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.


May the God of love and power

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by his Spirit

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

sung Dougie Byers


O Lord,

since without you we cannot please you:

let the work of your mercy in all things guide our hearts;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

Exodus 32:1-14
read by David Kerr

The Golden Calf

When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” Aaron said to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took these from them, formed them in a mould, and cast an image of a calf, and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it, and Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.” They rose early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being, and the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to revel.

Exodus 32:1-14, The Golden Calf - Toward a Sane Faith - Kevin Ruffcorn  Ministries

The Lord said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ ” The Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff-necked they are. Now let me alone so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, and of you I will make a great nation.”

But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” And the Lord changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people.

Philippians 4: 1-9
read by Simon Lidwell

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.


Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always ( Listen to, Dramatized or Read) - GNT - Uplifting Scriptures

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my coworkers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. As for the things that you have learned and received and heard and noticed in me, do them, and the God of peace will be with you.


Matthew 22: 1-14
read by Rev James Clark Maxwell

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Matthew chapter 22 beginning at verse 1

Glory to Christ our Saviour.

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

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. 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 wedding banquet.’ 

Day 33 Friday March 23 2018 Matthew 22:1-14 - Mt. Healthy UMC

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.”

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord


On thinking of these passages today two lines jumped out at me from choral evensong. The lines were “endue thy ministers with righteousness and make thy chosen people joyful.” The latter was what leapt out at me –“Make thy people joyful.” The sung word joyful to me at Evensong, jumps out with energy and vitality. It makes you want to experience that joy.

Welcome to SEITE evening prayer BCP EVENSONG – SHORTENED FORM. - ppt  download

Today I feel the theme of joy runs in one way or another through the readings, all are searching for joy. In the Old Testament reading they are searching for joy through idolatry; in our gospel reading, they are invited to share in the joy of the heavenly banquet and finally in our epistle, Paul reminds us to seek joy. “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” Paul is remarkable in his spirit of joy, for let’s not forget where he is when he penned these words- he was alone in a dark, miserable prison cell, and yet he can be joyful. He reminds us too later in the letter to the people at Galatia, that joy is a fruit of the spirit that we should cultivate in our hearts. If others were to describe you, would they describe you as joyful?

Card: "Rejoice in the Lord Always" - LifeSource Christian Bookshop

What is meant by being joyful? Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is fleeting and not lasting, whereas joy is rooted deep down within us, like an anchor in our being, that knows that whatever we face in life, our joy in the Lord is our strength. The key words here for me are “in the Lord.” Notice that Paul says repeatedly “rejoice always and again I say rejoice in the Lord.” Our rejoicing is in the Lord not in our situations or circumstances.

Joy is something that Jesus gives to us as a gift. Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” The joy that you have as a Christian is the joy of Jesus. He says my joy will be in you. He does not say joy like mine will be in you, but my joy will be in you. Jesus wants to take the joy that he has and place it in you. Joy is Jesus’ great gift to us. Is joy something that you experience in your life?

C. S. Lewis - Joy is the serious business of Heaven.

C.S. Lewis spoke of joy as being the serious business of heaven. It is the joy of Christ in us that speaks to people and makes them question, enquire and desire, what we have. A theologian and socialist called Tony Campola, shared the joy in his life with others that in turn touched them deeply.

He travelled to Honolulu, Hawaii, for a speaking engagement. He flew all the way from Pennsylvania to Hawaii and had an awful case of jet lag. Therefore, at 3:00 AM, he was wide awake. Tony found a donut shop near his hotel. As he sat there sipping coffee and glancing at a newspaper, the door to the diner swung open and in marched eight or nine provocative and boisterous prostitutes. Their talk was loud and crude. Tony was just about to make his getaway when he overheard one of the women say, “Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m gonna be thirty-nine.”

One of her friends responded in a sarcastic tone, “So, what do you want from me, a birthday party?” “No,” she said. “I’ve never had a birthday party in my life. Too late to start now! Suddenly, Tony Campolo had an idea. As soon as the women had left, he said to Harry, the owner of the diner, “Do those women come in here every night?” “Yep,” he said, “about this same time. Hope they weren’t bothering you.” “No,” Tony said, “but I have an idea. The one sitting next to me is going to have a birthday tomorrow. I’ll pay the bill if we can have a little birthday party for her.” A smile spread across Harry’s face. “That’s a good idea. Her name is Agnes.” He called his wife out of the kitchen area and told her about it. They agreed to bake the cake. The next morning by 3:00 am Campolo had decorated the diner with crepe paper and had made a big sign reading, “Happy Birthday, Agnes.” Word had gotten around somehow because by 3:00 am every prostitute in Honolulu was in the place-wall to wall prostitutes and Tony Campolo. At 3:30 AM on the dot, Agnes walked in and confronted the cake with burning candles and the crowd singing loudly, “Happy Birthday.” She was

flabbergasted, stunned, shaken. Her eyes moistened. Then after she blew out the candles, she completely lost it and openly cried. After the party was over, Tony asked the group if he could say a prayer. He prayed for Agnes and everyone else in the group. Then after everyone was gone, he thanked Harry for going along with the party. Harry said, “Hey, you didn’t tell me you were a preacher. What church do you belong to?” In one of those moments when just the right words came, Tony answered, “I belong to a church that brings joy and throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:00am.

The Heavenly Banquet

That’s the kind of church that Jesus came to create. His church is a church that brings joy and holds parties! In our Gospel reading God’s kingdom is compared to a party- to a wedding feast! Now, let me remind you about wedding customs in ancient Palestine. A wedding was a veritable roof raiser. The wedding began with a huge feast in the evening. Then came the wedding ceremony. Next, the couple was led in a torchlight parade through the entire village. Crowns were placed on their heads and a canopy was carried over them. The parade ended at their new home. But that’s when the party began. For the next seven days, 24 hours per day, the wedding party and open house continued. Even in that poverty- stricken society, a wedding was a time for extravagant joy.

Give me JOY! – St William of York RC Primary School

Extravagant joy is what the kingdom of God is all about! Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a wedding party to illustrate the point- the Kingdom of God is joy unlimited. We Christians should be the most joyful folks on earth. After all, our past failures are forgiven. Our eternal future is guaranteed. The God of the universe loves us. His Son died for us. We are his sons and daughters. Life cannot deliver any heartbreak or tragedy that his grace will not see us through. And God is going to have the final word with his world. Now, that’s worth celebrating!

Celebrating is sadly not what is happening at the start of our parable because the first group of guests reject their invitation. In fact, they do more than reject the invitation. They “kill the messenger” that brings them their invitation. Their refusal to join in the “party” is complete and final. The next group of guests expands to include everyone. Everyone who hears about the wedding party is invited to attend. All are to be made most welcome, yet with their invitation comes an expectation. This expectation is not of perfection; not of excellence; not of economic ability nor of exceptional giftedness. The expectation is that each guest will acknowledge their entry into this new place, into this “wedding banquet,” into this waiting room for a new future, by making some changes in themselves. Changes that make them a joyful people.

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and  patience – Strathblane Parish Church of Scotland

The “change” required in the parable is in their clothing- the right mode of dress. In the life of faith, the “change” required is not a change of clothes as such but a change of mind, a change of heart, and a change of spirit. Speaking figuratively the clothes that are to be worn are those we find in our Epistle reading: “clothe yourself with whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable.” This is the clothing the king is looking for.

God is the King who is inviting us to the wedding banquet. We are all invited, whether the world judges us to be “good” or “bad,” rich or poor, worthy or unworthy. The invitation is without restrictions. But that does not mean that the invitation is without expectations. We are all granted full admission to the kingdom of God through the gracious “free pass” offered by Christ. But there are requirements. We cannot remain unchanged. We cannot keep wearing the same world-weary “clothes” of indifference, prejudice, hatred, judgment, cruelty, coldness that we sported before walking into the wedding banquet.

Nehemiah 8 10 The Joy Of The LORD Powerpoint Church Sermon | PowerPoint  Presentation Pictures | PPT Slide Template | PPT Examples Professional

We are required, by the grace of the one who invited us, to “spruce up” for the party. For a seat in God’s kingdom, “sprucing up” doesn’t take cash or charisma-it takes a commitment to changing something more than that which is skin deep! It is about getting rid of the golden calves of idolatry. It is about sorting out our priorities. It is about a readiness to rejoice in the Lord, no matter the circumstances. It is about allowing Jesus’ joy within us to take root and direct our lives. Our lives are to bear witness to the deep joy of Christ hidden in us. We are to be a joyful people who, by God’s help, encourage others to accept God’s invitation to the heavenly banquet, and in doing so we make people joyful. Amen.

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church


We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Praying Moms – LRPC HOME


God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, you inspire our hearts

to reach beyond the transient

and grasp the eternal.

Make your chosen people joyful.

and excite your church with the treasure

of your eternal presence.

Help us to not to be attached to things,

but instead to place our trust

TRUE TREASURE: The Treasure of God's Presence — Destiny

in your grace and mercy alone.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, you puncture the flattery of our words

with the honesty of your truth.

Direct our gaze beyond personal aggrandizement

to the issues and matters of true importance and value.

Guide our political leaders in your ways of justice and freedom

and give them wisdom to serve those they represent.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

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God of goodness, you desire peace in your world.

We pray for peace in our communities this day.

We commit to you all who work for peace,

and those who work to uphold law and justice.

We pray for an end to fear,

for comfort and support to those who suffer.

for calm in our streets and cities,

that people may go about their lives in safety and peace.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, you know

that we live in disturbing times

across the world, with markets in turmoil,

jobs losses, and financial security under threat.

Loving God, meet us in our fear and hear our prayer:

be a tower of strength amidst the shifting sands,

and a light in the darkness;

help us receive your gift of peace,

and fix our hearts, where true joys are to be found,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

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God of goodness, you know the struggles of your


we pray for the many, who are trapped by growing

burdens of debt,

and can see no way out, and despair for their future:

give them courage to tackle the problems they face,

clarity in taking decisions which will turn their situation around,

and faith that, as they cry to you in their trouble,

you will deliver them from their distress.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Ten ways to create a cosy home this autumn

God of goodness, make our homes,

places of love and growth,

welcoming to all who visit

accepting and forgiving of all

who are nurtured there.

Help us to work through disagreements and heartaches

and grant us the grace at all times to respect and honour one another.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, you see our strengths and weaknesses

draw near to those who are weak in body, mind or spirit.

Grant them your healing touch,

your loving companionship

and your comforting and strengthening power.

Help us to be more ready

to support and befriend one another

through the difficult times.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

Healing Stock Photos & Royalty-Free Images | Depositphotos

God of goodness, you know our hearts,

you feel our pain and share our sorrows.

We are hurt by our parting

from those whom we loved:

when we are angry at the loss we have sustained,

when we long for words of comfort,

yet find them hard to hear,

turn our grief to truer living,

our affliction to firmer hope

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

God our strength

We put our trust in you

God of goodness, deliver us from all

that hinders our spiritual growth

increase in us your heart of love,

empower us to be real and true.

Merciful Father accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

who taught us to pray together..

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Do not bring us to the time of trial

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen.


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The peace of God, which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord:

and the blessing of God the Father,

the Son and Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always. Amen


Go or stay in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.


St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.


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