2011 Advent Devotion- Friday, December 2

Friday, December 2
Matthew 22:1-14

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

To issue an open invitation and then condemn someone for showing up wearing inappropriate attire might seem callous at best, outright cruel at worst. In confronting the Pharisees with this parable of the wedding banquet, Jesus challenges all of us to avoid the smug certainty of feeling among the “chosen.”

The scenario smacks of “Rush Week” on college campuses, when fraternities and sororities use public events to afford their members unique opportunities to critique and rate potential prospects among the freshmen. Many seek to be among the elite few deemed worthy for admission to the most exclusive of houses. Very few are selected, often based on the most superficial standards of physical appearance or privileged status.

Yet who is, after all, truly worthy of being among the chosen when God’s invitation is available to all? Fortunately for us, God sees through the superficial trappings on which others focus. God examines our hearts to see whose we are, not what we look like or what we own.

Only God sees the true worthiness of the people gathered in God’s house, and we live in the hope that our gracious Host will deem us worthy to be there.

O God, may our lives bear honor to the grace by which you invite us to be present with you. Let our hearts be clothed with righteousness, so that we may be with you for eternity. Amen.

Elder Tony De La Rosa, interim executive presbyter Presbytery of New York City, New York, New York

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