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The Story of God: The Banquet

Matthew 22:1-14, NRSV


“Fears the Lord.” Reverence might be a better word. The Bible isn’t interested in whether we believe in God or not. It assumes that everyone more or less does. What it is interested in is the response we have toward him: will we let God be as he is, majestic and holy, vast and wondrous, or will we always be trying to whittle him down to the size of our small minds, insist on confining him within the boundaries we are comfortable with, refuse to think of him other than in images that are convenient to our life-style? But then we are not dealing with the God of creation and the Christ of the cross, but with a dime-store reproduction of something made in our image, usually for commercial reasons. To guard against all such blasphemous chumminess with the Almighty, the Bible talks of the fear of the Lord—not to scare us but to bring us to awesome attention before the overwhelming grandeur of God, to shut up our whining and chattering and stop our running and fidgeting so that we can really see him as he is and listen to him as he speaks his merciful, life-changing words of forgiveness.

— Eugene H. Peterson
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

  • Possible responses to this tough passage, that the city was burned and destroyed:
  • Justify the violence, and for yourself
  • Run away, and have nothing to do with this act and God
  • Be struggle with it, and deal with it
  • What really gets God angry: Complete refusal of God’s Grace
  • God is the king who invites
  • But we have competing invitations: Beware, it is easy to get distracted in life
  • Some might think it is invitation to be servant for the king, which might mean less freedom, being abused
  • v11: King insists to cloth us
  • We would get thrown out when we refuse King’s Grace
  • People who refuse King’s wardrobe, the robe of Grace
  • Allow Him to cloth you

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