Skip to content

The Ven. Dr. James T. Payne: “The Parable of the Wedding Feast” (Matthew 22:1-14)

October 30, 2009

Here is a new sermon by the Ven. Dr. James T. Payne of St. Thomas of Canterbury REC in Texas, which I am calling The Parable of the Wedding Feast.  In this sermon for the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity, based on Luke 14:11, Dr. Payne gives us some deep insights into what this somewhat puzzling Parable means for us.  In the first part of the message, he talks about what it means to accept the invitation to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, but he goes on to add this:

Accepting the invitation is only part of what we have to do. Coming to Jesus’ wedding party is more than just showing up. I believe that the gospel is warning us that the Lord won’t tolerate the person who claims to be a Christian but continues to live as a non-Christian… who thinks he can fellowship and be in relationship with God on his own human terms.

When the Lord issues the invitation to come into the Church, He expects us to show up, but then He also expects us to grow in grace – to become new people whose lives reflect that we belong to him.

That doesn’t mean that Christ requires us to be perfect. Far from it! In fact, by His grace, his righteousness covers our sins like the wedding garment covered whatever worldly clothes were worn by the various guests. The rich guest dressed in fine silk and gold and the poor guest dressed in rough cloth were arrayed in the same wedding garment.

Christ is happy to forgive our sins – and we all need forgiveness! When we accept Christ’s invitation He expects that to make a difference. He expects us to begin to change. He expects us to let the Spirit begin reshaping our lives. If we insist on coming to the party unshaven and unwashed – dressed in our grubbiest sinfulness – if we insist on living in rebellion – it is as bad as the invitees who never show up at all.

To say the least, we do have to acknowledge – and live under – Jesus as Lord, not just our Saviour.  Not that this change is what justifies us, but it is very much our sanctification, and I think this sermon does an excellent job of saying this.

Share this Post

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: