The Gospel in today's Daily Office readings contains a confusing parable. Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a king who throws a wedding banquet for his son. You probably remember the rest. The slaves take invitations to the upper crust who usually get invited to these things but they are mistreated and even killed. So the king punishes those invitees and throws open the party to whomever his servants can drag in off the streets, "good and bad" alike.
 
So far, so good. The established religious authorities rejected Jesus, and God's gift of grace was extended to those they had deemed unworthy. It's the final twist that is crazy making. The king goes ballistic when he sees that one of the fellows from the street doesn't have a wedding robe and has the poor schmoe tossed into the outer darkness. Really? Where was he supposed to get a wedding robe on short notice?
 
We of the Episcopal Church and Anglican tradition are known for traveling the Via Media, the "middle way." The Roman Catholic perspective puts all the emphasis on what God and the church accomplish through the sacraments. Most protestant churches put more emphasis on the role of personal commitment in achieving our salvation.
 
And we say it's both, which seems to be what Jesus is conveying in this parable. God gives the gift of grace to all, but we need to at least unwrap it to experience the kingdom. Prayer is the best tool for unwrapping


Pastor Kathleen Kelly,  
Interim Rector  

 

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