Anglican Morning Devotion for 8 September 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.” (MATTHEW 22:2-14; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
During the days of our Lord’s ministry, it was customary for the father of the bridegroom to prepare the Marriage Feast for his son. In addition to a lavish outlay of funds for opulent provisions of food and drink, it was customary for the father to purchase the wedding garments for the invited guests. The wealthier the father, the more elaborate the garments of fine linen and silk. In our Parable above which the Lord has taught us, the father was a king and, therefore, a man of great wealth. The Parable itself is a description of a Kingdom – the very kingdom of God. The King, therefore, is God the Father; and the Son is God the Son. Though the Parable does not specify, it is to be understood that the Bride is the Church.
The Father has gone to great lengths to prepare all things for a stupendous Wedding Feast. Not only has He spent personal treasure on the event, but has spent much time in preparing for the Feast – in fact, centuries. He has sent out His prophets to seek out and identify His friends to be invited. Though many of these were treated harshly and even killed, the Father has not forgotten the honor He will pay to His Son at this Feast to surpass all others. And though many who would be most likely to attend have found excuse to absent themselves in great dishonor to the King who invited them, the King will nonetheless insure that His Wedding Feast is well attended. If those upon whom He has showered many blessings will not come, He will invite the strangers by the wayside and any others who will come to honor His Son. No one, however, comes without a royal invitation.
The King has prepared sufficient wedding garments for all who will come to the Feast. This is the most costly of all the preparations made for the Feast – this particular Wedding Garment was purchased by the very blood of His only Begotten Son. No one has earned the privilege of the invitation – it is given in grace. But all must done the Wedding Garment. Not to do so would amount to a grave offense to the King and His Son.
The purpose of the Garment is to make all who attend worthy of attendance. Regardless of the street apparel of the invited guest, they will appear clean and vibrant in the Robe of Righteousness given at the expense of the Father in the gist of His Son. Just as the father of the Prodigal Son brought forth the best robe to cover the filth of his returning son, so does the Lord cover our filth and ugliness with the White Robe of Righteousness purchased by His blood at Calvary.
If we will remember all the way back to Eden, God gave us a foreshadow of that covering garment when Adam sinned and brought death and desolation upon all. The only innocent lives remaining in Eden were the beautiful beasts and creatures God had made. These were innocent. God found it necessary to take the life of one of these purely innocent creatures to cover the nakedness (sin) of Adam. This grieved the Father since it reflected the death of the Lamb of God – His only Begotten Son – many centuries hence. He taught us the pain of such an ordeal of sacrificing one’s only begotten son in the testing of Abraham with his beloved Isaac at Mt. Moriah.
The Feast is now prepared. The Garment is ready. Have you made sure your invitation? Have you sought out the time and venue of the Feast and made yourself available for the invitation? If you are invited, you will have the sure assurance of the One who sits upon the Throne of your heart – Jesus Christ. You have heard the Word go forth. You have heard His emissaries proclaim the occasion. Why do you sit idly by as the great Door is closing? No one will be admitted without the Wedding Garment of Christ.