A Full House
Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
All things are now ready. It is finished. Creation is restored. God has made peace with man. He has given His Son to us, who has given us life by His resurrection. And still He gives. Jesus gives His body and His blood, given into death and shed on the cross, for you to eat and drink for the forgiveness of sins. All things are ready. There is nothing to add. God has made a Sacrifice. The Temple is torn down and replaced with God in flesh. There is nothing to wail about at those ruins. God has removed His wrath.
Yet we make excuses. How awful it must be. This is their only day to sleep in; golf is really important; Church is boring. Yes, they’ll wake up at 4am for a fishing trip. They’ll wait in line for hours to get a good deal on Black Friday. But getting up to be fed by God is too much effort. The excuses are as plentiful as they are worthless. But tell the truth: which of us has not sat in this very room and wished it were over already? Which of us has not been bored in church and daydreamed of lunch and appointments for the week, of fame and fortune and dreams come true? And which of us has come to this place and dreamed of evil or plotted to sin? We’ve lusted and coveted, lied and blasphemed, all within sight of the altar, while the Word of God was read and His great love proclaimed. It is not just those who are missing who are guilty. Excuses are cheap and plentiful.
Proud and arrogant men think that they can prey upon the generosity and patience of God. Who hasn’t wanted the best of both worlds? We desire the pleasures of the flesh, honor among men, luxuries, freedom, and constant amusement; and we desire the joys and peace of heaven. But it doesn’t work that way. Who is ready to lose job, family, reputation, and wealth for the Kingdom of God? We promised that at confirmation. Did we really mean it? Our financial debts are evidence that we do not like to wait.
Repent. Hear and heed the warning. “None of those who were invited shall taste of My Supper.” He will not be mocked. Now is the hour of salvation. Tomorrow may never come. God is not fooled by superficial acts and lip-service, nor is He appeased by excuses. He desires mercy, not sacrifice. Stop thinking that your sins are reasonable and bring no guilt or that God’s grace is a license to sin. Repent. Repent now. We have only one case of death-bed repentance in all of Scripture, so while no one should despair and think it is too late, neither should anyone presume. The invitation is for today, right now. All things are ready.
God has done all things for you. He has taken up your flesh, suffered, died, and rose for you. He has endured Hell’s fury. He crushed the serpent’s head. He has dissolved the chains of guilt and shame that held you. He has flung open wide the gates of heaven. The flaming sword of Eden has been quenched in the blood of the Lamb. The angel of death passes over. You are safe. There is no one to accuse you. God Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, loves you and beckons you to the feast. He wants you.
Do not be afraid. Do not think yourself unworthy. Do not dwell upon your past sins. They are gone. They are forgiven. Are you are weak and weary, heartbroken and lonely, wracked with guilt and uncertainty? Come. All things are ready. It has been prepared for you: the greatest and the least, the outcasts and losers, the popular athletes and scholars, the divorced failures and the wealthy politicians. Come, one and all, to the Feast! Leave behind these temporary things. You belong to God. He brought you to His house this day for the feast. Come. Eat His body; drink His blood.
All things are ready. Whatever you’ve done, whatever evil things you’ve dreamed and thought, whatever lies you’ve told, God has paid for it all in His Son. He wants you to feast, to be washed clean and reunited again with Him, to be full, satisfied, at peace. Come. All things are ready. In the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus always. Amen.