WILL THEY COME?
In the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22:1-14, the wedding banquet is one of the most joyous occasions in Jewish life and could last for up to a week with festivities. In this parable, Jesus compares heaven to a wedding feast that a king was preparing for his son. Many people invited, but when the time for the wedding feast came, and the table set, those invited refused to come. The king’s servants who brought the joyful message were mistreated and even killed.
There are many lessons one can learn from this text. The one experience that continues to persist for me as a church-starter emerges from the following verses of Matthew 22:2. “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3. and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4. Again he resent other servants, saying, “Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” 5. But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
As I reread this parable many times, I still see myself as Remnant’s Pastor in the place of the king who is attempting to provide his son a celebration for obtaining a critical, if not a historical life-changing experience. Thus, as most good fathers do, they take extreme care to ensure that every detail is met, so the experience matches the importance. With a doctorate in Organizational Leadership, I am well acquainted with how to organize organizations, events, even church celebrations. I have implemented strategic plans with painstaking precision and achieved success in almost every venture I led.
As a church-starter for Young Adults, I am encountering challenges which test the very fiber of my faith. Remnant’s demographic is a recent phenomenon. There isn’t a large amount of research or verifiable best practices that ensure the success of any celebratory events. The demographic itself is seemingly evolving each day. Therefore, it is difficult to determine what are the best evangelistic outreach programs that succeed in inviting young adults or how best to engage them if or when they do arrive.
Like the king in the parable, my invitations are sometimes met with obstinate rejection or looks that could melt the face of a metal statue. Never the less, I persist in setting the banquet table. I ensure the Bread of Christ is present. The Milk and the Meat of the Word of God line the banquet table. The servants are in their proper places for the worship celebration. The utensils needed to feed the invitees are polished and placed. The call to come, to taste and see that the Lord is good is heralded.
I have fasted and prayed for the young adults whom God is inviting to His banquet table, yet at this very moment, I have an eerie feeling that they may not come…