An Offer We Can’t Refuse – Greg Albrecht
There are more than 38,000 Christian denominations around this world. Over 3.5 million congregations that identify themselves as Christian churches formally gather together, on a regular basis, around this world.
But did you know, in spite of what I’ve just said, that there is only one Christian church in Germany? Only one in Italy? Only one in India? Only one in China? And only one in the United States and Canada.
I’m speaking, of course, about the church of Jesus Christ —not about a humanly incorporated corporation or institution—but about the one church of the body of Christ.
Our passage speaks of a great banquet. Here is a picture of being joined together by virtue of sitting at one table. This parable is not about multiple banquets for 38,000 denominations. This parable is not a story about 38,000 different fast food pizza enterprises—nor is it a story of 3.5 million pizza franchises around the world.
Without speculating about how many of several million individual church buildings and the over 2.2 billion self-identified Christians in the world really are Christ-followers, we consider the one banquet Jesus uses as the centerpiece of this parable.
This story Jesus tells is about those who either accept the invitation to be a part of the banquet, or reject it. As we read this story and consider those who made excuses as to why they would not accept the invitation, assuming God to be the master in this parable, why does he actually become “angry” with people who turn him down? Or would disappointment be closer to what he feels?