ANGLIA GOOD NEWS!      

from the Ipswich Christadelphians

July 2019

 

CLOTHEShols 2

Summer – a time for getting out and about, holidays, walking in the countryside. It's also the time when we put away the sweaters, the winter coats and the scarves – and dig out last summer's shorts, shirts, flowery skirts and blouses. And maybe once you have done this you realise how worn last year's rags look and head off to the shops, log on to your favourite clothing website and get shopping – always aware, hopefully, that we should buy quality clothes from sustainable sources.

 

 inviteA royal invitation...

In the Bible, clothing is described in many ways – simple working garments, priestly robes, royal finery. But in Matthew 22 Jesus tells a parable using clothes as a metaphor for something more profound. He said: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come...' (Matthew 22:2-3)

Scour streetsSo the king tried again with different servants – same response, except that many of the guests gave lame excuses – some to work on their farms, others to their businesses. But the king was determined to have the banquet for his son and sent his servants out to scour the streets, and soon the banqueting hall was filled with guests happily enjoying the king's lavish hospitality.

No wedding best clothes!

weddingBut, horror of horrors, one guest was found not having bothered to dress for the occasion, just turning up in his workaday clothes! The king took him to task:  ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ With no explanation to offer, he was not just asked to leave, he was thrown out! That’s a bit tough, surely! But, like so many of the parables Jesus told, this was NOT just a story from life: he built into the parable something for all his followers, and a lesson for us today.out

Those guests who were dragged in from the highways and byways were willing to come. And there they all were, arrayed, so to speak, in their best suits, frocks and hats – apart from that one man in jeans and tee shirt. And here is perhaps the most puzzling part of the parable. Are we expected to believe that with the exception of one poor man, they were out in the streets going about their daily business fully dressed in their wedding finery?

 Surely not! No, the king himself provided fine wedding clothes for everyone without exception. This was a very generous act, way beyond the call of duty. And all wore the garments they had been given so generously, and so were welcomed into the feast. Apart from one – in his jeans and tee shirt. 'Friend, Jesus asked, how did you come in here without a wedding garment.' 'Friend' is a powerful word; a term of familiarity, love even. This friend, this chosen one, had refused to wear the wedding garment, and as a result lost his place at the wedding feast.Invite 2_2

A wedding invitation…

 

What does this mean for us? It means that an invitation is extended to us to be part of God’s purpose and to be with Christ when he returns. To prepare for this, we are to ‘put on’ wedding clothes, freely provided out of God’s love for us. Of ourselves we have no innate goodness – but God has given us the Bible, His Word, and His Son, Jesus Christ. If we learn to love and serve the Lord Jesus and try to follow his example, then what we lack will be made up by God’s grace. Paul exhorts us to: ‘…put on then, (literally, ‘clothe yourselves’), as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.’ (Colossians 3:12 ESV)  If we do this, trying to be like Jesus, then we will truly be welcome guests when he returns.

Maybe if you head out next weekend to freshen up your wardrobe, it would be worth giving this some thought – if you are willing, God will give you clothes that will last for ever, and never wear out.

(With thanks to http://www.freebibleimages.org/for the illustrations of Jesus's parable.)Free Bible_images

 Our Bible Hour is on Sundays at 10am at Castle Hill Community Centre, Highfield Road, Ipswich, IP1 6DG.

Here’s our programme for July to September, God willing:

 

7 July               Bible Basics: hell, the devil and Satan

 

14 July             Forgiveness   

 

21 July             A religion that makes sense

 

28 July             ‘What advantage then has the Jew…?’ (Romans 3:1)

 

4 August          Bible Basics: ‘salvation is of the Jews’

 

11 August        Jesus’s miracles of providing and their significance

 

18 August        Jesus’s miracles of healing and their significance

 

25 August        Promises in the Bible – to King David

 

1 September   Bible Basics: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…’ (Matt.23:37)

                        Its place in God’s purpose

 

8 September   Promises in the Bible – made by Jesus

 

15 September Why did Jesus have to die?

 

22 September Archaeology and the Bible

 

29 September ‘While the earth remains seed time and harvest shall not cease.’

(Genesis 8:22) 


We welcome comments, feedback and questions. Contact us via our website: www.ipswichchristadelphians.info, or write to: Ipswich Christadelphians, FREEPOST RTJU-SYAE-LZTA, 28 Westland, IPSWICH, IP5 3SU, or phone 07419 837115



So the king tried again with different servants – same response, except that many of the guests gave lame excuses – some to work on their farms, others to their businesses. But the king was determined to have the banquet for his son and sent his servants out to scour the streets, and soon the banqueting hall was filled with guests happily enjoying the king’s lavish hospitality.