Friday, October 22, 2010

Last Church of A' La Carte

Going out to eat is as much a part of life as going to church; more so these days. In an upscale restaurant we will be greeted by a Maitre' d (hotel); literally, Master of the Hotel..or restaurant. We can elect to have dinner a' la carte or table d'hote. The first means, essentially,  that we pick and choose what appeals to us, whereas the second indicates a menu where multi-course meals with only a few choices are charged at a fixed price.
What has this to do with things spiritual? I think you see it, but I will explain.
There are picky diners and picky Christians; they eat  and worship the way they want rather than in obedience to Jesus Christ. But here is the issue: A dinner has been prepared, all are invited, attendees are provided the required attire, and the price of admission has been set and paid. (The following parable told by Christ traces the gospel from Moses and the Jews coming out of Egypt [Hebrews 3:16 - 4:2] through the prophets, the destruction of Jerusalem, the spreading of the gospel, and the final wedding feast.)
"The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again he sent out other servants saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding."'  "But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.
"But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.' So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
So the king said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen." [Matthew 22:2-14].
The points of the parable are clear; God has prepared both a wedding and a dinner. Invitations have been sent (prophets, missionaries) to all the world and many have come so that the hall (church) is filled. The costs of the dinner are paid in full by the king (the blood of Christ). When the King inspects the guests he finds one who prefers his own garment (his own good works) over the one provided (the righteousness of Jesus Christ).
Salvation in Christ is accepting Him and doing His will by our obedience. It is not what we want to do (a' la carte).
Friend, put on the pure garment of righteousness provided  by the death of the Christ on the cross. Accept what is served (table d'hote) at an inestimable price.
Be at peace; the Sabbath of our Lord is coming [Matthew 12:8 and Mark 2:27, 28]. e.c.

No comments: