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Everyone is invited!

February 12, 2020
By Pastor ROGER LEMKE , Pine Island Eagle

In Matt. 22:1-10, Jesus tells a parable about a king who invited important guests to a wedding and the feast that followed. However, those invited refused to come, in fact, they abused the messengers who brought the invitations, So the king sent his servants out into the streets and invited everyone they saw, "the good and the bad alike," to the wedding party.

This parable teaches that God and his Kingdom is anti-exclusive-ism and sanctimonious separation of any sort: be it political, racial, socio-economic or sexist, but that all persons can find unity in Christ. Very simply, this parable teaches us that we are to love and respect everyone we meet because God first loved us.

The message of this parable is very fitting for Valentine's Day: Drew Duke recalls her second grade's Valentine's Day party. Several days before the party a large decorated box with a slit in the top had been placed at the front of the room by her teacher. Each student was invited to bring valentines addressed to friends and to drop them into the box. Earlier that week Drew's mother had bought a box of 25 valentine's cards. Drew asked: "Why so many?" Her mother replied: "So that you can give one to each person in your class." Drew said: "No, we only give cards to our special friends. I only need four cards and I don't even like some of the people in my class." And so, she placed only four cards in the box.

Everyone was excited when the party began. A girl was designated as a postman and she began calling out names and handing out the cards. Some very popular children got bunches of cards and were having a wonderful time. Drew became aware that the girl sitting in front of her had received no cards. Her head was drooping lower and lower. Then suddenly the postman called this girl's name and delivered to her one Valentine. Her face lit up like morning sunshine. She tore open the Valentine and Drew looking over her shoulder saw that it was signed: "Your secret admirer." The little girl smiled and glanced around the room, wondering who it could be. Drew recognized her mother's handwriting.

Drew wrote: "That day, I learned what my mother learned from God: that God's love reaches even the unlovely, and everybody is invited to God's party!"

Roger Lemke is pastor of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church. The church is at 10360 Stringfellow Road. Call 239-283-1170 for service times and/or additional information.



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