Toward Sunday

Our worship this Sunday will be rooted in Matthew 22:1-14. This is a parable that can raise concern for the listener!  On a casual reading it may seem overly harsh.   It was the custom of the day for a King to celebrate a wedding by hosting a great feast.  Because many would not have the proper attire, upon entry, the King would offer free wedding clothes .  These were often simple robes that were designed to be worn overtop of ones clothing.  In this way, all were welcome and following the etiquette of the day.  (Think about clubs that require men to wear ties and jackets in order to enter.   There are often extra coats and ties at the door for those who are unaware of the policy)  To further help your understanding, here is a passage from the New Interpreter’s Bible Volume on the Gospel of Matthew (pg 418):
“In early Christianity, the new identity of conversion was often pictured as donning a new set of clothes; the language of changing clothes was utilized to express the giving up of the old way of life and putting on the new Christian identity…the man (who did not wear the wedding garment) was expected to have the deeds of an authentic Christian life…When confronted (by the king) with his lack of exhibiting the fruits of a Christian life (which was noted by his lack of proper attire), the man has no response, for he is without excuse.”
Make a list of the Gifts you believe God has given you over your lifetime.  Sit quietly for a few moments and read through your list.  Which of the Gifts that God has given you enable you to help others?  Which of the gifts that God has given you can be passed on to your neighbors?  What makes you cautious or hesitant about sharing these gifts?  What sparks the desire to share your gifts and to say “Yes” to an opportunity to do so. 
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