The Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost, August 25, 2019

Gospel Luke 13:22-30

The door is narrow, but it stands wide open through the Means of Grace, Word and Sacrament.  The preaching, teaching, and table fellowship of the earthly ministry of Christ continue this day for you.  He is still present to teach through His Word and to serve you with His very Body and Blood at His table, the table that is prepared for you today, all for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.  

The door is open, but many will ignore it.  Jesus does not mince words.  This is not a game.  This is not a horse race.  The ones who refuse to repent and to receive the Master of Banquet feast now stand on the outside looking in.  All these warnings are specific and directed at the individual — “‘I tell you’ Jesus says.  ‘I do not know where you come from.  Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’” (Lk 13:27–28).  

But then here is the promise for those who repent and are baptized, a picture of the heavenly feast that awaits through that door: “And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God” (Lk 13:29).  You see, the ones who will be with Christ at His table are not there on the basis of ethnicity or family ties or how much money they have or on the basis of their own accomplishments.  The door is open to everyone, from everywhere, for all time.  “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Ac 2:39).  The Holy Scriptures testify that God, who has called you, is so faithful that when he has “begun a good work in you,” he will also continue it to the end and complete it, if you do not turn away from him, but “remain steadfast to the end in that which he has begun.”  For this purpose he has promised his grace.

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