Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL article (11/27/14)
TITLE: AND HE WAS SPEECHLESS
By Joyce Samuel
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I want to share briefly about a man who got both a pleasant and an unpleasant surprise on the same day. The speed at which the latter followed the former left the poor man speechless. Remember the story of the king who arranged a wedding feast for his son? Matthew 22:1-14 (NKJV).
After much preparation, the king’s invited guests refused to come because they had 'better' things to do. It does happen. Anyway, so he sent his servants to, "...go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding." Surprise! Anybody could attend the king’s party!
The servants did a good job, mustering quite a rich salad of people, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled.
Then just as the guests began to settle down, the king, like any good host would, came to see them; and – sticking out like a sore thumb - was this guy who was not properly dressed. So the king asked him, "Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?" I can imagine the man's surprise - can't you? After all, he did not ask to be invited; the notice was rather short… I mean, what’s a guy supposed to do?
I am sure you can think of a smart answer to the king’s question: "Through the door, your majesty.” But this probably-blushing-with-embarrassment-man had no answer. Matthew 22:12b says: AND HE WAS SPEECHLESS. (Emphasis mine)
Where I come from, there's a good bit of argument as to whether or not our faith should influence our choice of clothing. There is a great deal of emphasis on God’s grace and acceptance: He receives us the way we are, and sees our hearts, so the way we under-dress or over-dress really doesn't matter: just be yourself. Undeniably true. He is a gracious, accommodating Father.
However, observe the way things went in the story. The doors of the kingdom were thrown wide open to the bad and the good, and they honoured the invitation. If I may guess though, some might have had a quick shower and changed their clothes. If I received a sudden invitation to have dinner with the president of my country, I would change from my house clothes and slippers and wear something more befitting. I am sure you would too. It's only natural.
The same way, God expects that His children should make a conscious preparation to meet Him at the end of their life's journey if they are not to be unpleasantly surprised like the man in the story. They need to be properly clothed, internally (the heart) and externally (the body).
A naked heart is stubborn, loveless, and full of lust for the things of the world and the things of the flesh. A heart ready for the Lamb’s supper is obedient, loving and thirsty for God’s word and ways.
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit of God; His apartments, if you will: and I am quite confident that He would appreciate some drapes at the windows! A heart filled with the Holy Spirit will express itself in decent clothing. It’s okay if you disagree. It's our privilege to debate and postulate while still on this side of eternity. But come that Day, the well of words will dry up. Ask the man in the story. He was speechless.
There's no better time to acquire ‘wedding garments’ than now, in these last days. Let's purify our hearts and respect our bodies – His body.
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