Saturday, 7 March 2015

Fitting in

Matthew 22:1-14
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
​Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Most of us like to fit in. We'll go to great lengths, sometimes, to conform. Blending in, not standing out is a goal for which we strive most of the time in social circumstances.
Occasionally, there are those who seem incapable of being part of the crowd. Those who are too miserable, too intent on sabotaging their chance to be included and accepted. No amount of persuasion will convince them to behave differently. And, reluctantly, we must abandon our attempts to accommodate those bent on a destructive path. There comes a time when all the excuses and all the interventions and all the bending of the rules won't cut it any more. And we must let go.
Seems as though the wedding guest who refused to take the opportunity presented to him had finally exhausted all the options, rejected all the lifelines offered and made his choice. And there was no going back. How prepared are we to admit defeat, knowing we have done all that we can and have nothing left to offer?