The sermon text for this Lord’s Day is Luke 14:15-24. In it, Jesus tells a story about a great feast. Those invited made foolish excuses and refused to attend. The host brought in an unexpected crowd to fill the banquet hall. The story rebuked the religious leaders of Israel who refused to respond to Jesus’ message; they refused to enter his kingdom. The host gathered a crowd from the “highways and hedges” to come. Thus, the story anticipates the mission of the church that proclaims Jesus’ invitation far and wide, an invitation that has come us.
The hymns selected for the service flow from the themes of the parable.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 67:1-7
A Fountain Filled With Blood
Hymn 52: Crown Him with Many Crowns
Note: This majestic anthem ascribes honor and glory to Christ, the Lamb upon his throne. This was the response required of Israel in Jesus’ day. They refused, but by God’s grace, we delight to “hail him as [our] matchless King thro’ all eternity.”
Hymn 293: Hark! The Gospel News is Sounding
Note: The message of Jesus “is sounding” out, being declared throughout the world. Through it, God is still calling poor sinners, “Come to Him who died for thee.” The offer is freely made and “none need perish.”
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
Note: The Scriptures use the metaphor of table fellowship to describe the wonders of his promised kingdom. Lord invites all to come to his “feast.” But the psalmist adds this caution: “Seek the Lord while he may be found / call upon him while he is near.
Hymn 238: How Sweet and Awful Is the Place
Note: We often sing this beautiful, theologically rich hymn in a communion service. The Lord’s Table, in addition to remembering the cross-work of Jesus, anticipates the day when we sit at his table in the Kingdom. People still resist Jesus’ invitation, but the grace of God is at work bringing people home. (Note, v. 4 says “forced us in,” we will sing, “drew us in”).
Message: Invited to the Greatest Banquet
Text: Luke 14:15-24
Hymn 332: Just As I Am
Note: This hymn was overused in the past generation and often associated with high pressured invitations. Consequently, many churches avoid it today. However, it is a theologically rich hymn that aptly expresses the appropriate response to Jesus’ invitation: “Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind . . . O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Prayer Response: Mark Buhr
Benediction: John Miles