November 28, 2016


We accepted an email potluck dinner invitation and since I seldom go anywhere without being prepared I mentally refreshed my mind on who I thought would attend so I could get the right husband’s name with the right wife. We were the first to arrive and as the 30 or so other invitees began to filter into the house there were no recognizable faces to put with my names. I suspect we somehow wound up the wrong email invitation list. All the attendees, even though relatively new to the community, had established relationships and came from a different economic and recreational status than mine…golf and skiing are not part of my vocabulary. Although not totally applicable to the situation, I kept thinking of Jesus’ parable of the Wedding Banquet, “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen” (Matt 22:11-14 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I never paid proper attention to etiquette or good manners. I used “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, “ma’am”, “sir” and such when obviously required. But I certainly didn’t come close to going overboard, nor was I any good at picking up a hint. I was only rather polite. -----And I never felt the folks around me thought what they did for a living, what were their hobbies, where they came from, or any of the other “getting, acquainted” things were any of my business. So I never felt welcome to ask. I always blamed my lack of friends, acquaintances, and discomfort in crowds on shyness, when deep inside I knew the truth. My manners were not very presentable.
-----As long as you don’t invade people’s space or privacy or consume too much of their time, most folks are rather flattered to get a little attention from a stranger. Good manners and etiquette are to emotionally surviving a crowd of strangers what grease and oil are to machinery. Too little makes for friction, and too much makes an oozy mess. Somewhere between those two guardrails is right.
-----It always seemed a bit confusing to me that the king desired a big wedding feast, then tossed a guest just because he wasn’t dressed right. I think in my youth I was too sociable with the hippies. They required neither good manners nor proper clothes. In fact, for them, all this truck with propriety was really out. And that was kind of the answer to my confusion. The bad guest was a man of impropriety, a respecter of himself more than of others. So he didn’t do the things that were right amongst others, just the things he wanted to do. Impropriety is just a category of unrighteousness.
-----Doing things right is always handy. And the more things one does right the better he is able to do the things he does, including mixing with a crowd. Now I more understand not only the wedding clothes the bad guest would not wear, but also the righteousness they represent in Jesus’ parable. It isn’t just that we won’t get into the Wedding Feast of the Lamb without righteousness simply because the King requires it, it is that things won’t work there without it; we won’t fit; we will be either the friction or the oozy mess. Righteousness is far more than just a frilly religious word. It is just doing things right.

Love you all,
Steve Corey