The whole village was abuzz as they observed the colorful flags flying from the ramparts of the castle. Humble villagers stopped to admire the sight. “Can we go to the castle tonight papa?” asked a little dark haired boy. “Ahhh, no son, I am sorry the banquet is only for those who have been invited.” The little boy hung his head in disappointment. “Sorry son. We are just too poor to sit at the king’s table.”
Within the castle the King rubbed his hands together in delight as he surveyed the great hall, “Perfect!!” he exclaimed. “I can’t wait to share this with my friends!” He turned to his servants, ”Go quickly and tell them that the time for celebration has arrived.”
The servants hurried along. At the first house they knocked and Mr. Reelestate opened.. “Preparations are ready, Sir, the king requests your presence at the marriage feast of his son.” The short little man scratched his red beard and replied, “It isn’t the most convenient of times for me. I’ve just purchased a plot of land and I must go and see it. Sorry!
At the next door Mr. Oxenfarm opened to them, his large frame filling the doorway. “The king sent us to tell you that the feast is now ready.”
Oh I can’t tonight. I just purchased five yoke of oxen and it is absolutely imperative that I prove them.”
“Tonight sir?’ He gave a curt nod and slammed the door.
At the third house they could hear a woman’s laughter within. Mr. and Mrs. Newly answered the door. The servants repeated their requests.
Mrs. Newly however went into an instant pout, ”Thomas you promised you’d take me down to the store tonight.”
“Sorry guys,” he said to the servants, “but you heard the Mrs. She has something special planned for tonight;
Upon their return to the castle the King was astonished by the news.” I invited them to the most important night of my life and they will not come!!” The hurt he felt swiftly turned to anger.
“Go out!” he commanded his servants. “Go into the village and find those who are poor, and those that will appreciate my invitation, and compel them to come. Tell them the wedding garments are made ready so they need not worry about their humble attire.”
Within a few hours the castle was alive with joyful humble families and, of course, one happy little boy. Their excited voices filled the great hall.
Meanwhile Mr. Reelestate was proudly viewing his land. He smiled at the nice stand of trees he now owned.
Mr. Oxenfarm had just arrived on the other side of the trees with his new oxen, excited to see how well they would plow.
Mrs. Newly, whose yard was just a few feet from Mr. Reelestate’s trees had started a fire in the outdoor pit behind their house planning to fix Mr. Newly’s favorite meal.
All of sudden Mr. Reelestate shouted as a herd of oxen bore down upon him. He quickly climbed a tree, but alas, the oxen charged past the tree catching their yoke upon the trunk, and uprooting the tree, which promptly fell into the fire pit.
Mr. Reelestate scrambled from the tree as Mrs. Newly screamed, and Mr. Oxenfarm went running past after his oxen.
The fire caught on the tree and it went up in flames igniting other trees,
“My trees!” exclaimed Mr. Reelestate.
“It’s a forest fire!” Mr. Newly shouted. “Run for the castle!”
They arrived at the door right behind Mr. Oxenfarm, who had given up on his wayward oxen. Behind them the whole landscape was ablaze. They pounded in one accord on the door shouting and screaming.
A little window in the door slid open.
“Let us in!” they pleaded
“I’m sorry but our security systems have just engaged and I cannot open the doors.” The servant replied.
“But we were invited!!”
“I’m so sorry but you should have come when you were invited. I fear you are too late.”
In the banquet hall they continued to celebrate as the king’s son appeared with his bride upon his arm. They sat down and feasted on scrumptious fare such as they had never tasted before.
They were protected from harm and safe in the castle of the King.
II Cor. 6:2 “behold now is the day of salvation.”
Luke 13:28—“there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Story from Luke 14:16-24 Matthew 22:1-14
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