Do you remember know the story Jesus told in Matthew 22:1-10? It’s the one about a king who threw a party, and everyone gave excuses about why they couldn’t come. Then the king told his soldiers to invite people off the street. But one fellow wasn’t dressed properly, so he got thrown out.
Have you ever understood that parable? I sure haven’t. But I’ve seen it lived out, right here in my small town.
On the last day of school, a preteen girl (I’ll call her Zoe) invited all her friends to an end-of-the-year swimming party. All her friends gave excuses for why they couldn’t come. Zoe lied a lot, and her friends wanted to get back at her. Everyone said they were going to a church lock-in.
So Zoe invited everyone else at school who didn’t have any plans. At such late notice, that pretty much left the skate punks, druggies, and the like.
They came. And they acted like a bunch of skate punks and druggies and the like.
Zoe’s mom lost it. She cussed at those kids and threw them out because they had no idea how to behave at a party.
I still don’t understand Jesus’ parable any better, but at least now I can picture it.