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28 OT A ~Invitation to the Feast" ~ Rev. Benjamin Roberts, D.Min.



I grew up about thirty miles from here. I went to one school for kindergarten and first grade. Then I was redistricted and went to another school for second through sixth grade. Then I was redistricted again and went to junior high with the people from my original elementary school. After high school, I went to four different colleges and I was sent to two different places for seminary. As a priest, I have served at three parishes. All of that is to say that I understand completely what it is to be the new kid looking for a place to eat in the cafeteria.


Maybe you have this experience too. While holding your tray or the brown paper bag lunch you have looked for a place to sit and eat. Maybe we will find a seat at a table. Maybe someone will wave us over. Maybe someone heard we were new here and invited us to join them. There was an invitation and a seat and a smile.


The scriptures are filled with eating and drinking. They are filled with feasts and festivals. Isaiah tells us of a banquet on a mountain. There will be rich foods and choice wines. There will be more than enough food for everyone. There will be a space for everyone. There is room for all of the peoples of all of creation at the banquet. It looks like the greatest parish picnic of all time. And everyone is invited. The Lord God himself invites us to his table. The Lord of heaven and earth knew we would be there and he gives us an invitation, a seat and a smile.


It is the same for the wedding feast. Jesus loves the image of the wedding feast because it is about him. He is the marriage of heaven and earth. He has God for his Father and Mary for his mother. He is the bridegroom. He loves his bride the Church. He loves her. He cherishes her. He protects her and he feeds her. The Church is the Bride of Christ. She is the beloved of the heart of Jesus. We are the beloved of the heart of Jesus. He loves us. He cherishes us. He protects us and he feeds us. We have an invitation and a seat and a smile.


Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world; blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. That is the invitation to the wedding feast. We hear it every week. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. It is the invitation. It is the announcement that the banquet of Isaiah has begun. There is room enough for all. There is enough food for all. There are no tears at the banquet of Isaiah because the Lord God himself wipes them away. There are no tears at the banquet of Isaiah. The feast is called because death has been conquered. The Lord has removed the veil that veils all people. He has claimed victory over death and has prepared the feast. The Lord has united heaven and earth and he has prepared the feast. We have the invitation and the seat and the smile. We behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We join the feast of heaven as we worship here on earth. Heaven breaks open in the breaking of the bread and we are blessed to be called to the supper of the Lamb. Here and now we receive the invitation and a seat and a smile. Here and now we join in the wedding feast.


Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world; blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb. We hear it every week. We respond to it every week. The words wash over us even as they invite us. We will hear them every week until we hear them for the last time. We will hear those words here until the veil is pulled back and we see them in the kingdom. On a day known only in the heart of God, each of us will be the new kid in the kingdom of heaven. The saints and the angels will welcome us for they heard we were coming. The banquet will be prepared. And Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and the Bridegroom who has loved us and cherished us, will offer us an invitation and a seat and a smile.

Amen


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