Many people are invited. . .
I don’t know that I’ve ever really considered this phrase that is part of a sentence I know well: Many people are invited, but few are chosen. It is part of a parable Jesus tells about a wedding feast that people won’t take time to attend.
What I’ve always focused on is the scarcity—that few are chosen. And isn’t that human nature? We cannot enjoy the feast that is so lavishly offered to us because we are afraid for the future. Like the folks who were concerned about their fields or their businesses, we miss the free gift of a banquet because we are focused on the future with fear that there won’t be enough.
Many are invited. That says to me that the table is big enough to accommodate everyone—any and all who will accept the invitation, who will lay down their skepticism, pride and fear and show up. Generosity, not scarcity, marks the nature of God. Joy, not fear, should be our response.
Maybe chosenness simply has to do with our willingness to live now in the lavishness of God’s love, the poverty of spirit to know that all that is good comes from God to us but only if we are open and humble enough to receive it.
I’ve always wondered about the wedding guest who gets into the feast without the right clothes. Was he unwilling to blend into the group? Did his pride keep him from entering into the joyful abandon of the party? Maybe it was his unwillingness to let go of his own carefully created identity that got him thrown out.
Our discipleship should be joyful, not morose or fearful. Our lives should be lived with a lightness and trust in God. The kingdom of God is a feast! Let’s live like we know this to be true!