The Invitation to the Messianic Banquet
There's nothing quite like eating some good food. People think I don't eat much food because I'm not usually the biggest guy in the room. Sure, I might be the pickiest guy in the room (you could just ask Rene about that), but if I find something I enjoy, like BBQ or something like that, I can put some of that away. My mother once told me I was going to get diabetes one day. It's nice to have supportive parenting like that. So, my freshman year at Florida College I didn't go out of my way to meet new people. And thus, I didn't get invited to very many things. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I started something. I would pick a restaurant to go to on a Friday or Saturday night, and I'd invite as many people as I could… spur of the moment. If people didn't come or didn't want to, it didn't bother me. But there are always like five or six people that could go, and they were usually very different groups of people. And because it was spur of the moment, I knew they probably didn't have many plans that night. Maybe no one made plans with them either. I'm not sure; but it was nice to share that meal. To get to know so many people better and to have that connection and make sure that people that didn't have plans had something to do that weekend.
As Christians we get to be a part of something similar but infinitely more important. In Isaiah we read about a banquet hosted by the Lord Almighty. And this is a theme throughout scriptures… the theme of a messianic banquet. A place where all people who accept the invitation of our God can enjoy fellowship with their Creator and their brothers and sisters in Christ. The text says:
6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
7 And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9 It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
Sharing a meal has more impact than you might imagine. When we think of the church and the Lord’s Supper, we realize that we are joined together in unison. There is a common love and understanding between us when we remember Christ and eat that supper. Luke 14.15-24 reads:
15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
There are times in our lives where we get invited places and sometimes we can't go. We may genuinely want to, but something came up that we deemed more important and could be considered maybe a very valid excuse. But when it comes to this invitation, there is no excuse. There is no reason not to be there.
A couple weeks ago I was in South Carolina for a wedding. I and all the groomsmen were staying out in the middle of nowhere in a really nice cabin. Sunday rolls around and we all walk into this tiny congregation of like 10 people. The preacher went on for about an hour, but he said something in that sermon about invitations. He said you're either going or you're not. There are only two options to an invitation: you can accept, or you can decline.
Right now, this church wants you to walk with us and partake in the banquet. The Lord Almighty is having a banquet. Will you be there? If you believe and accept His invitation, you can wash before this wonderful meal by being baptized into Christ Jesus our Lord.
Please don't decline. Accept His invitation.