Sermon for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, Oct. 18, 2015
Christ, the Garment of Salvation
Vicar Brad Akey


In the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen


A king’s invitation. A wedding banquet. A glorious time of celebration and jubilee where all, and I do mean all, may rest from their work and enjoy time together. Whether you are a poor field worker, a hardworking productive merchant, or an attentive and faithful servant, you may sit side by side in the King’s presence, in unity. This is a royal event, not just the event of the year, but the event of all eternity. And the king insists that His palace will be filled. That is our Gospel reading for today, a time of joy, festivity, and love being rejected by selfishness, ignorance, and spite.


As you hear Jesus speak these words to His people, understand what the will of the Lord is, that you are present at His eternal banquet wearing the garment of salvation!


For parents, the wedding of a child is full of blessings, seeing their child grow and acknowledge their new commitments to another. They want to celebrate this with all of their family and friends. For this same reason, God sent His servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Those, whom He has specifically chosen, refused Him. 


What could be a more insulting and disdain filled response? The happiest day, a day which has been planned for and looked forward to, the joy of this union has been answered with, “ehh, I’m not really feeling it…” What is the king’s reaction? Basically, “they don’t understand.” See the gracious will of the Lord with this second more immediate message! 

Sermon for the 20th Sunday after Trinity, Oct. 18, 2015
Christ, the Garment of Salvation
Vicar Brad Akey


In the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen


A king’s invitation. A wedding banquet. A glorious time of celebration and jubilee where all, and I do mean all, may rest from their work and enjoy time together. Whether you are a poor field worker, a hardworking productive merchant, or an attentive and faithful servant, you may sit side by side in the King’s presence, in unity. This is a royal event, not just the event of the year, but the event of all eternity. And the king insists that His palace will be filled. That is our Gospel reading for today, a time of joy, festivity, and love being rejected by selfishness, ignorance, and spite.


As you hear Jesus speak these words to His people, understand what the will of the Lord is, that you are present at His eternal banquet wearing the garment of salvation!


For parents, the wedding of a child is full of blessings, seeing their child grow and acknowledge their new commitments to another. They want to celebrate this with all of their family and friends. For this same reason, God sent His servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Those, whom He has specifically chosen, refused Him. 


What could be a more insulting and disdain filled response? The happiest day, a day which has been planned for and looked forward to, the joy of this union has been answered with, “ehh, I’m not really feeling it…” What is the king’s reaction? Basically, “they don’t understand.” See the gracious will of the Lord with this second more immediate message!



Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business. 


Those who could live in excellence, be in the presence of their king, rejoice in the presence of the Son, enjoy the companionship of each other, choose to return to the work of their lives, rather than to be given the exclusive, invitation only admittance. Some even go far beyond rejection and seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 


Jesus came to His own, but His own refused Him. St. Paul agonized over His people’s refusal of Christ. God’s will was to bring them to the heavenly banquet, fulfilling His promises. His will saved them from being slaves in Egypt. His will caused Him to give up His Son, who said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Here in their midst is the garment they need for the wedding feast, the one who brings salvation. 


The will of the Lord wishes to bring all because, “the wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.” His own refused Him, treated His servant shamefully, and killed Him. The king was angry, from being rejected by His own chosen people, and He sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.


The ongoing invitation is now coming to us. To His apostles and His pastors He shares what His will is, that all are clothed in Christ, when He says, “Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.” Do not for one second think that this makes you better than the Jews of old. Both have been chosen by God, they through the covenant of circumcision, and you through your Baptism. 


Yet you are too easy to relax in your life of sin. You are tempted to take comfort in everything that is not Christ and Him crucified. As we have confessed, we do deserve the king’s wrath, temporal and eternal judgment, just as those who will endure eternal damnation. 


Thus the servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. The Father wants to be in the company of His creation so He gave His Gospel, Jesus Christ, to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. The will of the Lord is that the true Gospel has been offered to all peoples, of every nation, and of every language by the king’s servants: the prophets, apostles, pastors, and missionaries – yes also through the witness of His people. All those invited from the roads will be in the presence of the Father before the banquet, only some are not prepared.


But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. The refusal of the garment, is the refusal of the Son. The refusal of the Son is the refusal to be repentant and to know that your clothes are not sufficient. The gracious saving will of the Father has been made known and those who reject His grace will be bound hand and foot, and cast into the outer darkness. There you will have no foundation, no salvation, no hope. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 


Deserving that punishment, nonetheless you are all here, seeking hope in the Word of God. Eating the body and drinking the blood of salvation as promised by our Lord. And relying upon the one and only true foundation, the death and resurrection and ongoing service and intercession of your Lord and Savior. 


What makes you worthy of receiving such gifts? The wedding garment is what makes you worthy! Christ, the garment of salvation, who was placed upon you at your Baptism. Please note how this action occurs – the garment is, “placed upon you.” You were acted upon just as what occurs in this Gospel lesson today. The king did every good thing! The king is the one who issues the invitation, who prepares the marriage feast, who insists that His house is filled with guests. Every good thing is done by God. 

 

By His grace you are walking, not as unwise, but as wise. Do you falter and misstep? Yes, you do, yet Christ covers you with His forgiveness, as is the Father’s will. He loves you so much that he earned your invitation to the wedding feast. His innocence and holiness is the covering for you. 


This covering is what the king looks at when He sees His guests. It is because of the clothing placed upon you that the Father does not see your sin and shortcomings, but the sacrifice of His only Son upon the cross. His body given up, His blood shed. It is because of this garment of salvation that the Lord’s will is realized. 


Christ is the One that makes us worthy to be in the presence of the King. It is His gracious will that we may enjoy the wedding feast in His honor, being clothed in Christ! What a spectacular situation for us, that Christ, the one being celebrated is the one sacrificing and giving us the gifts of faith, righteousness, and holiness. 

 

According to the will of the Father, each one of you have been invited, personally, regardless of your opinion of your employment, your stature, and your own worth. Whether you are the field worker, the businessman, or any other profession, Christ claims you as His own in the waters of your Baptism. 


You are no longer seen as the Old Adam, but as a new creation, holy and perfect as Christ is holy and perfect. You have been reborn from that which God must separate from Himself to that which He invites into His home, claimed as His own, wearing the garment of salvation as His good and gracious will would have it.


It is here in the presence of your King where eternal celebration and jubilee will commence. At this everlasting banquet there will be no more selfishness, ignorance, and spite as we face here in this sinful world. In the new heavens and the new earth, is where there will be unending union between King, Son, and His creation. 

 

As we sang, “We are called to stand together with the saints of ages past, with the patriarchs and prophets in the faith they once held fast; promises and hopes they treasured now we find fulfilled at last!” This is the true will of God. Amen.

Luther Memorial Chapel & University Student Center | 3833 N Maryland Ave | Shorewood, WI  53211
(414) 332-5732 |lmcusc@lmcusc.org

Divine Service: Sundays - 9:00a Mondays - 7:00p Bible Study & Sunday School: Sundays - 10:45a