The chapter this morning is full of puzzling passages--what does it mean that, "God is the god of the living, not the dead"? In fact this whole story is wild--what does is mean that there will be no marriage? No sex? (I actually have an answer to that, but it would take 40-50 pages).
The one that confused me this morning was the one about the wedding feast. As I was reading, I had the thought that when I was growing up, we always focused on the people who refused the invitation to the wedding and there was a lot of anxiety that maybe WE were like these people--you didn't want to be one of those people. So, as I approached the text I thought, "What would it be like to just believe I am one of the people who has accepted the invitation and not be anxious about being left out of the wedding feast?" which was nice right up to the bit about the guy who is wearing the wrong clothes and gets thrown out, which was another source of worry for people in my world.
So I ran to NT Wright to see what he has to say (not that he's the ultimate authority, but sometimes I find him clarifying). As a result, I would say that the guy gets thrown out because he's been invited to a party, but he's not partying, and in fact he's likely bringing everyone else down. The kingdom of God is one of love and justice, but if you're being hateful or are assaulting others, in whatever way, that's hard to tolerate. God invites us to the feast, but in doing so He wants to transform us, to make us the type of people who will make the party even better. If we're the kind of people who are comfortable abusing others, or stealing from them, or whatever, it's not going to work.
I like this image--the idea that God is wanting to make me into the ultimate party animal--someone who is loving life in the Spirit and is helping others do the same. I've been wrestling with the the fact that I am someone who people see as really funny, but also that there harsh edge that is often a part of my humour. I would like God to make that into something that is still funny, but funny for everyone.