“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.’” (Matthew 22:8-9, NRSV)

Sarah Cummins had spent over $30,000 on her perfect day before the Indiana woman canceled the wedding. Faced with the reality of a reception contract that could not be canceled, Cummins made the decision to invite the homeless to the wedding feast. 

She and her family contacted local homeless shelters, which bused in over 150 people to the reception. The homeless enjoyed bourbon-glazed meatballs, goat cheese and roasted garlic bruschetta, chicken breast with artichokes and Chardonnay cream.  And of course, wedding cake.

Cummins’ canceled wedding reception resembles the image of Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet.  What was intended to be an exclusive party, became a feast for all. A metaphor for God’s grace. We come to the table, feasting on God’s grace, freely given, and intended for all. 

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Can you imagine the conversations that were held at Cummins’ wedding tables? I imagine that the grief and sorrow that was present was replaced with joy and cheer.  Cummins’ ex-fiancé told a local newspaper that the inclusion of the homeless was a “beautiful thing.” 

A beautiful thing, indeed.  

Author Michael Frost writes, “The table ought to be the primary symbol of the Christian gathering. It represents hospitality, inclusivity, generosity, and grace.”

Whenever we gather for communion in the United Methodist Church, we hear the familiar words of invitation: “Christ invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another.” 

This invitation extended is just as Frost describes. Christ’s table is a table of hospitality, inclusivity, generosity, and grace. As we participate in the sacrament, we are called to follow Christ’s example. We are called to extend the invitation to the table to all. Because God’s grace is freely given to everyone. Let us not hoard it up for ourselves. Instead, let us share God’s grace. And may we share it joyfully. 

How can your invitations this week share hospitality, inclusivity, generosity, and grace?

Lord, you call us all to your table, and we are thankful for such a wide table. May we strive each day to do the same. Amen.