Our Harvest Festival services at the end of the month are an opportunity to express our thanks to the giver of all good things. It’s just a few says before the Stone Food and Drink Festival begins, giving us pause for thought.
Jesus waved a red flag when someone boasted about looking forward to the heavenly feast. Jesus told a story about a house owner: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. (Luke 14v16-18).
Jesus listed three excuses in his story.
“I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me”. His property purchase was top of his list, providing a home for his family. It’s a legitimate concern.
“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me’. Work is very demanding and absorbing, while getting a new car brings the pleasure of a new driving experience.
“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.” He might as well have said that love wins, hands down!
The servant returned still clutching the invitations. The house owner was cross and told the servant to search out the poor, crippled, blind and lame. But he’d already done this. So the king said: ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be fill. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet’ (v23-24).
Jesus’ story makes clear that daily concerns do not excuse apathy and disinterest in the heavenly banquet. It simply shows that what is good has become our God!
Each autumn we run an evening course to help people back to God. It’s called ‘Christianity Explored’ and runs for just seven sessions. We’d love to be the church that helps you back to God.