Welcome, one and all, to the King’s banquet! My name is Merek, and I am an aide to the King. Don’t let the title and fancy clothes fool you, though, as, not so long ago, I was sitting precisely where you are now.
Please allow me to ramble a bit, while you are being served this evening’s exquisite meal. You see, the King invited those for whom this magnificent banqueting hall would appear to have been built, but they were disinterested. Each had their own excuse for refusing such a lavish invitation, but the King is not one to beg or coerce anyone to His glorious table.
Thus, the King made this decree: “Go out into the streets,” He told us. “Invite everyone you see! Tell them the feast is ready and everything has been prepared.”
So we did, but even then the hall was nowhere near full. With this in mind, the King spoke once more:
“Go quickly into the highways and byways, into alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.”
His servants carried out this order as well, but STILL there was more room, so the King said, “Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.”
Which is what brings you here today, and what a beautiful group of people you are!
While all power and majesty are His alone, and He could gather at His feet the richest and most beautiful, the King’s heart beats fierce for those whom the outside world has cast aside.
He loves the beggar.
He loves the poor.
He loves the downtrodden and downcast.
He loves the crippled and lame.
He loves the suffering.
He loves the bitter, the sorrowful and the mourning.
I can’t explain it, as the King Himself only deserves the best, but that’s just His nature. I know this because I once sat outside His gates, fueled by rage and agony, as you may be. Pain had taken hold of my body, to the point it began to poison my mind.
Spitting on the majestic palace gates, I cursed Him for not bringing me and my fellow beggars aide. For years I languished, scorched by summer’s heat, burned and frigid in winter’s gale. Then one day…
A man, very much like the one you see before you, dared to venture beyond the palace walls, walking right up to me. “Come!” he said. “The King’s banqueting hall is only half-full! We have killed the fatted calf, and are serving only the best wine and bread! He desires the pleasure of your company.”
“Think me not a fool!” I shrieked. “What has this King ever done for me?!” Then the man shared with me the truth I’m about to share with all you good people.
You see, the King and His Son love you more than you shall ever know. Let me elaborate. Many years ago, the King’s Son decided to step outside the comfort of these blessed walls and walk among the people for a short time. His Son left behind all the regalia of the palace. So much so, in fact, that He was looked down upon as a commoner and a castaway.
He came not as a prince, but a pauper.
When enemies tried to take the Son’s life—and mind you, the King had all of Heaven’s militia at His disposal, and could’ve squelched any rebellion in the land—the Son gave up His life willingly for the people.
For the hurting and lost, as I was.
Because of His great love for you, He allowed Himself to be tortured and martyred, so we could all sit in comfort, enjoying the spoils.
Which brings us to this GLORIOUS day! I know many of you feel unworthy of the King’s love, but the ransom paid by His Son has MADE you worthy! He gave His life so you could sit here today, enjoying the company of others like yourself, and feasting on wine and foreign delicacies.
But I’ve distracted you long enough. Please, enjoy the magnanimous spread before you.
I will, however, leave you with these parting words:
Never doubt your worth.
Leave not the slightest trace of disbelief in your mind regarding your beauty. For if the King, great and mighty as He is, loves you enough to watch His own Son die on your behalf, how much more should you love yourself, and each other?
(Based on Matthew 22:1-14 and Luke 14:15-24)