“Today, the Lord is having His Supper!” Trinity 2 2023

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18. June 2023

Trinity 2

Luke 14:15-24

In the holy Name of + Jesus. Amen.

The Lord is having Supper. You are invited today – to His table. Today, Jesus gives you His Body to eat and His Blood to drink for the remission of all your sins. You eat and drink Salvation. Everything He earned for you by His perfect life, He delivers to you, into your mouth. Everything He paid for by His suffering and death, He gives to you, into you today.

 Everyone is invited. Everyone! Not just some people. Not just holy people. Even we sinners are invited! All – no one left out. So, the servants go out, “Come! Everything is ready!” Then the RSVPs come in from His people… “I’d love to come, but… I have bought a field. Please excuse me.” “Can’t make it. I just got five brand spanking new genuine AD 32 pairs of oxen, and I wanna test drive those bad boys!” “I have married a girl. Honeymoon, you know?” All the answers end the same – His invitation is rejected. He is rejected. Something ranked higher than His feast. Something meant more, was more important, and needed their attention more.  

Today, Jesus speaks this parable against the children of Israel who just wanted something more than Him. They went their own way. They rejected the Father and His Messiah, His Christ. Jesus wasn’t enough for them – they had better things to do. But let’s not just condemn the children of Israel. Let’s look at ourselves. We are entrusted with the Gospel of Christ. We know that God’s love is seen in the giving up of His Son for our salvation. Salvation is not by what we do or don’t do, but solely in the Cross of Christ. And faith receives that salvation in His gifts, and we are saved.

 But God’s Word? We tune it out. We shut down during sermons. Contemplate other things. We don’t want them too long – they must fit into our schedule. Our phones are more exciting—the latest buzz on the internet or gossip around the church. We’re thinking about brunch later, or not forgetting to call dad this Father’s day, or the repairs on the farm that we’ve neglected.  But, the Lord will not suffer himself to be second in your world – not to anything. He won’t compete for your attention. He is important to you, or He isn’t. If He’s in the second spot, He considers it simply an RSVP in the negative.  

The next time you have something better to do than come to the services in God’s house, contemplate that the Lord Jesus has given you one hundred and sixty-eight hours a week. He asks for only one of those hours, and you can’t even give Him that! One out of one hundred and sixty-eight is too much for you? Do you have something that ranks higher, more important, something… What do you think is more?

So, what does He do? He sends His servants, “Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.” (v. 21)

He invites you. Again. His people reject Him, and He goes and sends out invites again! He brings you to His table. He forgives you. He has mercy. We are the poor. We are the crippled. We are the blind. We are the lame in this parable. We are the ones who get the invitation after His people reject Him.  Christ Himself takes upon Himself our poverty. He takes our infirmities upon Himself. He enlightens us. Heals us. By His holy life, He holies our lives – all of them. By His bitter suffering and death, He redeems us, buys us back from our sins, from our rejection and despising of His Word.

He goes out to the waysides and the roadside – even Sherman Center, Sheboygan County, and drags us back. The Greek says “compels.” Like a father who takes away a dangerous thing from his child, He compels us out of our sin and then gives to us – even us who are focused on everything but Him – to us, He gives eternal life.

Dear Friends, the Lord’s gifts, His Word, His Baptism, and His Supper aren’t just a little part of your lives. It’s more than just an hour plus in the week. Nor is it something you do to meet people or to hear something positive about yourself. No, it is for faith! Faith flows from the gifts received here. Faith receives Christ’s life and cross in the Word and Sacraments. Faith lives from the water and the Word in the Baptismal font—lives from the Word of God—lives from the bread and wine, which is the very Body and Blood of Christ.

After all, man doesn’t live by bread alone but from every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Each day, you are raised up again – raised in His gifts and enlivened again to live a life for someone else other than yourself. You are given to be Christ for others, giving your life for their life. So, leave behind where you think your life is – the ups and downs of what is here today and gone tomorrow.  Yes, your new field is important. Your new pair of oxen can be tested out tomorrow. Your bride is important too – but why don’t you take her to the Banquet too? 

“Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of understanding” (Prov. 9:5). This Word of Wisdom was given by Solomon to his son. The chief responsibility of fathers is to teach His children God’s Word, and all other gifts follow. And the thanks we give for fathers today is for them heeding the charge of the Scriptures and echoed in the Small Catechism: “Wie sie ein Hausvater seinem Hause einfältig vorhalten soll—As fathers of the house should teach it in a simple way to his household.” All earthly gifts come and go, but God’s Word endures forever!

Teach your children what is important, your grandchildren, by Word and example, by how you spend your time – not just in front of the television or computer, but in the Lord’s Words, praying, praising God, and giving thanks for what He has done for you in Christ. For in a thousand, million, years from now, as you Feast on the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom that has no end, whatever it is that you thought was more important, I promise you, won’t be. It simply won’t be as important to you as what your Lord Jesus did to save you.

All that will matter, all that matters now is the Cross of Christ. His death for you made you right with God. His life is your life – now and forever. Today, the Lord is having His Supper. And here’s the Gospel: You are invited! Come and taste the bread of God. Come and receive my life and salvation. Come and eat and drink the forgiveness of your sins.  “Blessed is everyone who eats the bread of God.” (v. 14).

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guards your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.

Rev. Christopher R. Gillespie
St. John Ev. Lutheran Church & School – Sherman Center
Random Lake, Wisconsin