Our All Saints Blog

It’s MY party!

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Knowing teens means knowing parties. I don’t attend any of them, but I do end up hearing a lot about them. Far too often the parties that end up bad are the parties whose guests go crazy. When the owner of the house and patron of the party loses control of his/her guests, they end up feeling used.   I invited MY friends to MY party and they trashed MY place and MY party!

The meaning of this parable should be pretty obvious to all who read it: The Jews are the first to be invited to the Lord’s wedding feast. After all, they are the chosen people of God. They are the rightful guests of the feast. But the Pharisees, the scribes, the elders and the chief priests are doing their very best to (1) Ignore the invitation (and not attend); (2) to get others not to attend; (3) and to get others to trash the party and host as well. So, the Lord does what anyone would do: he extends the invitation to all. The wedding feast will go on, regardless of who is and isn't there.

When I write a meditation, I do not base my reflections solely or strictly on the particular Gospel passage of the day. I can’t! I must always keep in the back of my mind the entire Gospels. Otherwise, I will end up belonging to a different religion after every single meditation! I find this to be a big problem with far too many Christians. No wonder why we have over 40,000 different Christian denominations (including the denomination “Non-Denominational”) in our country.

Wow, for a people who think they know the Bible; they seem to have a hard time knowing Christ.

Our problem with the Bible and Church may very well be the same as that of teens and parties: We want to crash Christ’s party and make it our own just like teens wants to crash a friend’s party and make it their own! Or better yet, we want to crash Christ’s Church and make it our own!  

How? By barging in and creating mass hysteria by taking verses out of context; sliding passages out from under us; taking one word of His and running with it; picking His brain and assuming His thoughts; legitimizing the Lord by modernizing Him; and adding my thoughts to some of His words.

Let’s take, for example, the gospel verse: “You must be born again…” Obviously, someone took this in the late 1970’s and ran with it! Suddenly, everyone was asking you: “Are you born again?” And then we have the “born-again” movement…that died an unceremonious death not too long ago. You don’t hear that one too often, do you?

Instead of crashing Christ’s Church, we end up defaulting on our own!

There are many more examples out there but let’s put it all to rest for now. What’s important to know is that when Christ invites us to his party, we should arrive spiritually and physically cleansed; with an open heart and mind; with proper attire; and open to thanksgiving more than to just complaining.

Conveniences

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This morning, while driving, I heard on the radio an advertisement from the Disney Company encouraging kids to audition for a movie role. I have heard this particularly annoying advertisement many, many times. But there was something different this time. Instead of telling innocent and naïve moms and dads that their kids could appear in a movie and become famous like Miley Cyrus, now, the Disney Company was encouraging kids to audition by telling them that they could be like Selina Gomez! It didn't take long for me to figure it out. Miley has become somewhat of a liability. She, like Britney and Lindsay, is no longer the poster child for stardom. The business needs a new name, a new face, and a new innocence to exploit.

The parable of the landowner who planted a vineyard makes reference to the fact that God is the creator of the world; like it or not, and He demands, through faith and reason and human nature and divine law, that we respect this fact. Our answer to his sovereignty is measured by how well we obey the Lord's laws, precepts and statutes. There are consequences for our actions. As we hold each other accountable, so too the Lord hold us accountable. The difference being God's justice is always very clear, honest and fair. Ours is not always so clear, honest or fair. We all have a tendency to blur the line between objective reality and subjective sensitivities; between facts and fantasies; between an image burned in our memory and that burned from our imagination; between details and the descriptions; between truth and excuse; between justice and justifications.

What is the solution? "Remember the marvels the Lord has done."  Those who forgive know that God is with them. Those who can let go live their lives like the Lord. Those who respect the Lord's commandments are really saying, "In God we trust." 

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