We are celebrating, and you are invited. Great food, fellowship, and worship are on the menu. Don’t miss it!
I’ve thought a good bit about the party we are throwing at Ingleside this weekend, and I’m convinced that God would be pleased. Let me tell you why.
First, Jesus described the kingdom of God in just these terms. He said, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son” (Matthew 22:2, ESV). Once the feast was prepared and everything was ready, the call went out.
“Come to the banquet!” the New Living Translation renders Matthew 22:4. “Come to the feast!” says The Message paraphrase. Today, we might say, “Come to the Party!”
Throwing a party to remember and celebrate God’s goodness, however, is not new. The Old Testament says that three times a year all of God’s people came together for great festivals with spiritual purposes (Exodus 23:14; Deuteronomy 16:16). They were called “feasts of the Lord” and “holy convocations” (Leviticus 23:2).
One of the annual festivals was Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It commemorated God’s rescue of his people from bondage in Egypt. Jesus grew up in a home where Mary and Joseph made it a priority to go to Jerusalem every year to be part of this great celebration. When Jesus was twelve, he went too (Luke 2:41-42).
Of course, the kingdom experience of a great banquet not only finds its roots in the festivals of the Old Testament, it looks forward to a great feast in the future – “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). Our celebration at Ingleside this weekend is but a foretaste of the great meal to come when the redeemed of all the ages gather at the table of the Lord.
So, if you haven’t done so already, make plans now to be part of the festival at Ingleside this weekend. Both the cross and the tomb are empty. The ransom has been paid, death is defeated, and Jesus is alive. The preparations have been made and the feast is ready. Come to the party!