Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity – Sermon 247

9th January 2016 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

17th Sunday after Trinity

10am Holy Communion CW

12th October 2014

Bible References :

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Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ






Hello? [Mobile phone against the ear]


It’s the King’s servant here!


He’s organized a big wedding party for His Son on the 23rd of next month – can you come?


No? Oh! You’re estate agent is coming- you’ve just bought a field – got to go and see it? – Oh! OK – I’ll tell him.




It’s the King’s servant here!

He’s organized a big bash for his Son on the 23rd– it’s his wedding – can you come?


Oh! It’s your stockbroker? Got to sell your shares – OK, I’ll tell him.




What – too busy to speak – going to IKEA with your wife?  Don’t bother ringing again? – Oh!


No matter what the excuse – when we let somebody down – it’s always a blow to the person on the receiving end


In our Gospel reading – Jesus reminds us that when we let God down – and relegate Him to second place in our diaries – the consequences can be severe.


Point 1


Royal Weddings are spectacular affairs – the sort of event that no one would want to miss – seeing –   or being part of –


A chance for those who know the bride and groom and their families – to mix with – the ruling hierarchy – and perhaps to meet or speak to the king – or in our case the queen –


But in Jesus’ parable all the inner circle of guests – who had been invited – had refused the invitation


Israel’s leaders in Jesus’ day – and the many Jews  who followed them – were like guests invited to a wedding party – and it was a party for which they had long been waiting for –


In our OT reading Isaiah tells of a great feast – that would be available to Israel – in the celebration of the coming of the Messiah –


Food of the finest quality – to sustain us – the finest wines – to drink – a meal to set us apart from the everyday demands of life –


Food to help us overcome our blindness and fears – to wipe away tears from every face – even death the universal swallower – will be swallowed up forever –


In God’s banquet – there will be joy for all –


And – as we now- know – this great nourishment and saving grace – is provided for us – through His Son Jesus – the great liberator of mankind –


Jesus is the food that God offers us at His Table –

who through His words and actions has changed our understanding of God –  and of ourselves –


But now the Messiah was here – the chief priest and Pharisees didn’t want to know –


They had abused and killed the prophets – who had tried to tell them about it – and the result was that their city Jerusalem – would be destroyed –


Their refusal would be a huge disappointment to the father and to the groom – that they had not done their utmost to attend –


But what was bad news for them – was good news for the people who weren’t originally invited –


and these people came in droves –

Because of their reaction – God was sending out messages – to the wrong parts of town – to tell everyone and anyone to come to the party –


We don’t have to look too far in the Gospel – to see who they were – the tax collectors – prostitutes – the blind and lame – the nobodies of society – people who thought they had been forgotten –


They were thrilled that God’s message was for them – after all –


Second Point


But just turning up to the party is not enough –


The end of the parable tells – the story of what happened to one of the guests who was not wearing the right clothes –


In Jesus’ time when people came to meet the king – they were given clothes to wear – they had to put on the right clothes – before they were allowed to go in to see him –


We can only assume that the man refused to put them on – and therefore showed disrespect to the king


Jesus tells that at God’s wedding Feast  – even though everyone is invited  – and the invitation is open – and free – attending requires us to show – honour to Him and his Son – by wearing His robes of righteousness


For God these robes of righteousness are – love, justice, mercy, truth – holiness –


And if we refuse to put on these Godly garments – we are effectively saying – we don’t want to stay at the party –


We all like to believe that we are alright – as we are – that to join God’s party we just need to be ourselves – come to church – join in the worship – meet with other Christians –


But Jesus tells us that– to just attend – is not enough – we also need to change – to clothe ourselves with the clothes that God provides for us


Paul in his letter to the Philippians lists some of them: gentleness – prayerfulness – being thankful – faithfulness – showing honour towards God – by doing the things that we have learned and received from Jesus  –


To leave our own clothes on – shows that we trust in ourselves – and not in Jesus

To put on God’s clothes shows that we honour Him –


it also tells others – that we are God’s invited people –  and that the blessings God brings are worthy of a great celebration –


Point 3        what does it mean for us


Paul urges us all to ‘celebrate in the Lord’ – and to accept God’s invitation – given through Jesus Christ –


To listen and follow Jesus’ teachings – put on the things that he offers us – and make Him the standard that we follow –


Yes everybody’s welcome – but it’s not all inclusive –


moral choices matter – we should not – just – assume that things will be – alright in the end  – we need to make a positive response to the love that God sows within us all


God loves everybody – good and bad – and He wants everybody to learn from Jesus – and to come to His great celebration




God has prepared a Spiritual Feast for all those who want to join Him –


A meal of a lifetime – to transform our lives – and provide us with eternal salvation –


the invitations have been sent out and all are welcome – but it’s up to us whether we give it the priority it deserves –


Are we hungry enough for His word – hungry enough to come and sit at His table and eat –


When the call comes – Let there be no doubt as to how we will respond – and whose clothes we will wear!


Closing prayer


In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.