Ready or Not

Matthew 25:1-13
Parable series: Week 4 (SeeWeek 1,Week 2 andWeek 3)
I grew up in a pretty messy home. I am not sure how it compared to other homes, though I wondered about this a lot, and felt a sneaking suspicion we were outstandingly untidy, like, maybe worse than everyone I knew. When you came over to our house for dinner, what you didn’t know is that several grueling hours of family scrambling went into getting things ready for you. Cleaning (which often meant stuffing things into drawers and cupboards where they couldn’t be seen), was frenzied and fraught, so that by the time you were casually welcomed in, we were exhausted and a little raw from the arguing. But you would never know it, because everything would look very nice, as long as you didn’t peek in my bedroom closet. When we visited other people’s houses, Ididpeek sometimes, in closets and cupboards, wondering if they had done the same thing we did before guests arrived, or if they lived in this state of order all the time.…

Missing the Party

Matthew 22:1-16
(PARABLES - WEEK 3! Go here for Week 1 Week 2, and Week 4)
Oh, you guys! We’ve got a doozie in front of us today! 
(If you are reading this and not listening in person - go read up above the scripture first. You kind of have to see it to believe it).
There is a gentle, G-rated version of this story, and it’s told in Luke. It doesn’t have any weeping, gnashing of teeth, bloodshed or vengeance.Instead it’s got Luke’s signature focus on the marginalized; Look! They got to go to the party! Not so for Matthew.Matthew goes for the rage, the garish violence, the action movie effects. You can almost hear the dissonant sound track. Pastor Lisa called Matthew’s parable the ‘Quinten Tarrantino” version.
But then, Matthew was written just after Jerusalem was burned to the ground and the temple was destroyed. The people would have listened to this story. It might have felt familiar.
And maybe it feels a little familiar to us too.Institutions are crumbling, the old way of doing things do…