Culture shock works in reverse. After getting adjusted to the simple lifestyle of India, shopping every day at the market for vegetables, having a chicken killed and plucked for you, fresh raw milk in little polythene bags, and beautiful water from the 215 foot deep well, rice cooked over a wood fire, and cold water showers, it’s quite a shock to adjust back to ‘buy one get two free’, multi choice, shelves groaning, full trolleys, supermarkets and steaming hot showers!.
On Sunday we had beautiful food for lunch at church, then in the evening were invited to the opening of a new Indian restaurant – again lovely overflowing plates, and people complaining about having to watch their weight! Food, food, food. We really are into it in a big way over here. McDonalds are now serving their all day breakfasts literally 24 hours a day and sales are booming. Thank goodness for Matthew releasing me from some of my guilt by the way he recalls in chapter 22, Jesus story about life in Gods Kingdom being like being invited by the King to a grand reception when his son got married . Matty of course had first-hand experience of Jesus liking eating when he first met him and they chatted about what he was doing with his life over a meal. Such was the magnetism of Jesus that soon his kitchen table was busting at the seams with people dropping in wanting to hear how you can turn life around
In the story of the wedding feast, servants are sent out with these royal invitations to the guests, but can you believe it, they ignored it, ‘paid no attention’ said Matthew. Can you believe it? If I got an invitation from Buckingham Palace it certainly wouldn’t be ignored and put in the pile of letters on my desk with all the other junk mail!
But the point Jesus goes on to make is that that is exactly just what people are doing. We’ve all received an invitation to eat with the King but so many people are just too busy going about their own business to come. In India many were too busy trying to collect firewood or grow crops to sell at the market. Here in UK many are too busy trying to earn enough to pay bills and save up for a cruise. ‘Sorry King, Can’t come, no time for you in MY life’.
At our church in London we used to have a big sign outside saying, ‘Let’s meet at my house, Sunday before lunch’, signed God.
Some did come; most carried on to the car boot sale and shops.
If like me you are a servant of God, our job is to bring in the guests. It’s our job description. To ‘go to the main streets and urge anyone you find to come.” Go quickly into every part of the world, tell people about God’s invitation to salvation, invite them into the family of God, and do it with urgency.