"But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wearing wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:11-14)
Did you attend any weddings this Summer? If you did, what did you wear? My guess is that you wore some of your nicest clothes and maybe you even went out and bought something new just to wear to the wedding. Why? Because weddings are a big deal and we want to look our best for the bride and groom and for our friends and family. You wouldn’t be caught dead wearing your play clothes or work clothes to a wedding. Obviously this parable isn’t about what type of clothes we should wear to weddings, but it does give us great insight into how we get into the eternal wedding feast in heaven.
Jesus uses the picture of being invited to a wedding in the parable that we are looking at. Jesus has invited all people to his great wedding feast. If you read earlier in this parable many actually refused God’s invitation, but in this case the man had accepted the invitation to the king’s wedding banquet and came by the grace of the king. But when the king entered the hall, he discovered that this man was not wearing a wedding garment. It is said that in that culture and time a nobleman would give to his invited guests beautiful garments to wear to the wedding. To honor the nobleman, guests would wear what they had been given – no doubt those clothes were much better than their own and they would be happy to appear before the nobleman dressed in clothes which would meet with his approval.
But Jesus describes a man who appeared before the king in his own clothes, perhaps shabby and unkempt at that – remember that he had been invited off the street. Instead of accepting the free gift of a beautiful garment and wearing it, he thought that he would be acceptable in his own clothes. But admission to the banquet required royal garments. As a result of his not wearing the robe that he was supposed to wear, he was cast out.
Jesus is making a strong point for us to ponder and remember. First of all we need to recognize that there is only one way into heaven, and it is not by the filthy rags of our own self-righteousness that we can come into the presence of God. If people trust in their own good works to enter heaven, they will be cast out. Instead of sharing in the joyous feast of salvation, they will have an eternity of utter sorrow and bitterness, separated from God’s love forever.
Admission to the eternal wedding banquet of heaven is only with the clothing that God provides and that clothing is the robe of righteousness given to us freely by God’s grace through faith in Jesus our Savior. That garment of righteousness was woven for us when Jesus lived a perfect life under the law for us and completed when he took the guilt of our sins on himself and died for them. And that rich, wonderful garment was presented to you and me when the Holy Spirit brought us to faith in Jesus through the gospel.
Isaiah summarizes what this robe of righteousness is all about, “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord. My soul will celebrate because of my God, for he has clothed me in garments of salvation. With a robe of righteousness he covered me.” (Isaiah 61:10) So come and celebrate at the eternal wedding feast dressed in the robe of righteousness given to us in Jesus our Savior. Thank you God for inviting us to your heavenly wedding feast of heaven and for freely giving us the only way to enter the eternal wedding feast which is your robe of righteousness.
Pastor Mark Gartner
Labor Day Weekend Worship
Labor Day weekend worship will be Thursday, August 29 at 6:30 pm and Sunday, Sept. 1 at 8:00 and 10:00 am. No Monday evening service will be held on Sept. 2.
Worship times Changing
Our fall schedule begins Sunday, September 8, 2019. Worship times will be at 8:00 and 10:30 am. Bible classes and Sunday School will be held between services. Monday evening worship will continue to be at 6:30 pm.
Wednesday September 4th from 6:00-7:30pm our Confirmation classes will begin for our 6-8th Grade students. This year, Pastor Frey and Pastor Gartner will be setting up personal visits during the next week or so to meet and welcome all the new 6th Grade students. We look forward to meeting these new students and their families as we begin another year of studying God’s Word through the Catechism.
Sunday school for your children (3K to 8th grade) will begin on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 9:15 am. If you are willing to use your time and abilities to share Jesus with the children this year (2019-2020) either as a teacher or helper, please contact Pastor Frey as soon as possible.
Sunday morning Bible classes will resume Sunday, September 8 at 9:15 am. Pastor Frey will be leading us through a study on "The Lord's Supper." We will see what God's Word has to say about the Lord's Supper and we will see the many blessings God gives to us through this sacrament.
Our Monday morning Bible classes will resume Monday, September 9 at 8:00 am. Tuesday evening Bible classes will resume on Tuesday, September 10 at 5:30 pm. Pastor Gartner will be leading a study of God’s Word under the theme: “What Does It Mean To Be A Lutheran?” Have you ever had questions about some of the main differences between all the Christian churches or maybe just have wondered how come we there are so many different types of Christian churches? If so, please come and join us as we explore what God’s Word has to say about some very key teachings that the devil is trying to distort.
Mission Festival Sunday
Sunday September 22, we will be celebrating our Mission Festival Sunday. Pastor Steven Prahl who serves at Foundation Lutheran Church in Peyton, Colorado, which is the Mission congregation that St. John supported this year with our yearly Mission Offering, will serve as our Guest preacher and will also lead a Bible study about his congregation and what it is like to serve in a mission congregation. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for this special Mission Festival Sunday.
Another year of choir is about to begin at St. John. Our first rehearsal will be Wednesday, September 11 at 7:00 pm in the church balcony. No experience necessary! All are welcome. New singers are encouraged to attend. Come and worship with your voices. Enjoy Christian fellowship! Contact Dave Dahl at (920) 915-3867 with any questions.
A watch was found at the Church picnic. You may pick it up from the counter in the back of church.