The Choice in Not Choosing
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
I am a bit of an introvert when it comes to crowds. I love people, I just do not enjoy large parties. So, when I get an invitation to the office Christmas party, though I think I should go, I put off making the decision. I do not say no. I just never respond. I do not make time for it and when the date arrives, I do not get dressed up or leave the house.
In my apathy, it passes me by and in my indecision, I have made my choice. It would be more honest to just say no up front, which is what I know I am going to do anyway. I just like to pretend not to choose but in doing nothing, I make my choice.
This, I think, was Jesus’ message to the chief priests in today’s parable. In the story, a king threw a wedding feast for his son and sent out invitations. He got no response and when the day of the feast arrived, no one showed up. They had other stuff to do. So, the king sent servants out to randomly gather up anyone who would come and thus, filled his wedding hall.
It was of course, inflammatory that Jesus told the chief priests that they were the ones who had not responded to the invitation. Those who thought they were leaders in the kingdom of God were fooling themselves and had no part in it. They were imposters.
Jesus insisted that I, like the chief priests, have a responsibility to respond to the king’s invitation if I want to be part of his kingdom. If, in my apathy, I never actually choose to partake, I have made my choice. I may intend to be part of it. I may even think I am part of it. If, however, I do not actively choose to respond to the invitation and participate in it, I am not of the kingdom. I am just fooling myself. This is the one time when a certificate of participation is worth something.
It is a little terrifying to me that those who thought they were in the kingdom were among the lost. These were not people who had actively rejected God. They were under the impression that they were his chosen elite. They were priests, after all. Jesus told them though, that the tax collectors and prostitutes were the real participants in the kingdom as they believed and followed God.
The lesson for me, is that I must make my choice to follow. If I do not consciously choose to follow God, I will follow me. I can easily fool myself, calling myself a Christian without ever actually following Christ. Only in turning from self and following God, do I actually participate in his kingdom.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful or interesting, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and share it on Facebook.