Ah, the Parable of the Dinner: both tragic and majestic! You have the invite in your hand. Will you be by the fire in the warm banquet hall or will you be outside in the rain looking through the window as your stomach growls?
A man is having a big dinner and invites many. The time comes for the dinner and he tells his staff to send the word. However, the worker returns reporting that all the people made excuses on why there were not coming; one bought a new piece of land, one bought some oxen, and one even used his wife as an excuse. This angers the man and he tells his staff to go tell all the people in the street, all the crippled, poor, blind, and lame. The worker does and they come. But the worker reports to the man that there is still room! So he’s ordered to go out to the highways and along the hedges – so that his master’s house may be filled! Lastly, the man of the house declares that none of the original guests will ever eat of the dinner. (paraphrasing of Luke 14:16-24)
First of all, I love how when the first order is carried out – there is still room! Jesus calls all who will receive Him to join in His Father’s wondrous splendor… and there is still room! He will not stop until God’s house is filled! How amazing and wonderful!
There is also a sense that the dinner will have a specific date. It’s not a dinner that will never come to pass. You have been invited and when the banquet finally arrives – you had better be ready. To some, this is extremely exciting and to others it is extremely agonizing. After the dinner hall doors are closed, they are closed for good. Those arriving late, will have no way in. Sadly, they will hear all the laughter and joy coming from within. They will surely be escorted out of the hall and into the cold black night.
C.S. Lewis said that Hell will be like an extension of you’re life. If, all throughout your life, you pushed God away and said, “Leave me alone!” Hell is God finally saying, “As you wish.” God will leave you alone. All alone for eternity. But for the ones who said, “God, come closer!” Heaven will be God finally saying, “As you wish.” And we will abide with the Father and be in the Father’s love forever.
The more I write it out, the more I can’t believe that there are people out there that don’t believe! It takes more faith to not believe in God to me, than it does to actually believe. I hope the invitation lasts one day longer for those who disbelieve. I hope they realize their folly before it’s too late! Come now, while there is still room!
May God’s Love be with you