This Sunday’s parable of the wedding feast is a difficult one to preach. If we take the parable to be an allegory about God (the king) and who gets invited into God’s kingdom (the feast), we have to justify a God who would murder his own citizens, burn his own city, and react violently against improper attire.
Nor must we interpret it as a supersessionist “replacement theology” of Christians displacing the Jewish people as God’s chosen ones. Equally problematic is using the fate of the unfortunate attendee with no wedding garment as a reason to berate or embarrass those who come to church with good intentions but different fashion sensibilities from our own.Even as everything around us is burning down, God’s persistent desire for us is to share not only in his feast but also in his joy. Click To Tweet
As a parable (and some scholars identify it as two distinct parables), this passage cannot be used to support violence against or superiority over another person or community.
Where we can be sure to reflect the good news of the Gospel for our assemblies is by fixing our attention on the king’s relentless generosity. Despite rejection, indifference, and even violent opposition, God wants to lavish upon “all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines” (Is 25:6). Even as everything around us is burning down, God’s persistent desire for us is to share not only in his feast but also in his joy.