Order, Words, & Voices 03.12.23

Order, Words, & Voices

03.12.23 Poor Etiquette & Bad Manners, Matthew 22:1-14


Pre Worship Music

Opening Song Lynn

He is Exalted

Mansions Over the Hilltop

Call to Worship Response/Lord’s Prayer Rick

Reading Matthew 22:1-14 Linda

Songs   His Banner Over Us is Love Lynn

Message Poor Etiquette & Bad Manners Rick

Music He Loves Me Lynn

Community/Closing Peace Rick

Benediction Rick

Post Worship Music

Music (slides)

He is exalted

The King is exalted on high

I will praise Him

He is exalted forever exalted

And I will praise His name


He is the Lord

Forever His truth shall reign

Heaven and earth

Rejoice in His holy name

He is exalted

The King is exalted on high

I’m satisfied with just a cottage below

A little silver and a little gold

But in that city where the 

ransomed will shine

I want a gold one that’s silver lined

I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop

In that bright land 

where we’ll never grow old.

And someday yonder, 

we will never more wander,

But walk the streets that are purest gold.

Don’t think me poor 

or deserted or lonely

I’m not discouraged, I’m heaven bound.

I’m just a pilgrim in search of a city

I want a mansion, a robe, and a crown.

I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop

In that bright land 

where we’ll never grow old.

And someday yonder, 

we will never more wander,

But walk the streets that are purest gold.

Call to Worship (Slides)

God, we set our eyes toward You.

We turn our hearts in Your direction.

We acknowledge our great need and hunger for you.

Give us food from Your hand, oh God.

We confess that we seek to fill a void inside us with frivolous and self centered things.

Forgive us, and bless us with manna from heaven.

We release our expectation that our hunger might be satisfied by anything and anyone but You.

Nourish our souls, oh God.

We rely upon Your promise of provision.

They that hunger for righteousness will be filled.

Where and when we are empty

Fill us up, Oh God.

Jesus said: “I am the bread of Life. Those who come to me will not hunger.”

We come to You, Jesus.

We do not live by bread alone

But by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

(Written by Fran Pratt)

Lord’s Prayer (Slides) ‘Join me in the prayer of Jesus’

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses, while we forgive those who trespass against us. 

And, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Reading (Slides)   Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who held a wedding feast for his son. And he sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 

Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened cattle are all butchered and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!”’ 

But they paid no attention and went their separate ways, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and treated them abusively, and then killed them.  The king was angry, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 

Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. So go to the main roads, and invite whomever you find there to the wedding feast.’ 

Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and the King said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless.

Then the king said to the servants, ‘Tie his hands and feet, and throw him into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in that place.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22:1-14

Music (Slides)

He is mine and I am His,

His banner over me is love.

He is mine and I am His,

His banner over me is love.

He is mine and I am His,

His banner over me is love.

His banner over me is love!

He brought me to His banqueting table,

His banner over me is love.

He brought me to His banqueting table,

His banner over me is love.

He brought me to His banqueting table,

His banner over me is love.

His banner over me is love!

There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,

His banner over us is love,

There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,

His banner over us is love,

There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,

His banner over us is love,

His banner over us is love!

There is a sound I love to hear

It’s the sound of the Saviour’s robe

As He walks into the room where people pray

Where we hear praises He hears faith

Verse 2

There is a sound I love to hear

It’s the sound of the Saviour’s robe

As He walks into the room where people pray

Where we hear worship He hears faith


Awake my soul and sing

Sing His praise aloud sing His praise aloud

Oh awake my soul and sing

Sing His praise aloud sing His praise aloud

Verse 3

There is a sound that changes things

The sound of His people on their knees

Oh wake up you slumbering

It’s time to worship Him


And when He moves and when we pray

Where stood a wall now stands a way

Where every promise is amen

And when He moves make no mistake

The bowels of hell begin to shake

All hail the Lord all hail the King

Message – Bad Manners (Slides)

[Slide – leave slide up to ‘stop screen share’] “I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do. I was wrong. That’s getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition. I know. I’ve just been through one. Not my own, my daughter’s. Annie Banks-MacKenzie. That’s her married name: MacKenzie. I’ll be honest with you, when I bought this house seventeen years ago it cost less than this blessed event in which Annie Banks became Annie Banks-MacKenzie. I’m told that one day I’ll look back on all this with great affection. I hope so.” 

(George Banks, played by Steve Martin in 1991 Father of the Bride)

Our family is on the adventure of all that goes into a wedding, a wedding that is not our own but our daughter Hannah’s wedding, I am, little by little, beginning to understand the words of George Banks. Finding dresses, suit fittings, hearing of flowers, food, decorations, invitations, hotels arrangements,  – few of things things, plus more, have actually been done by me, I’ve just heard about it all. As Geroge Banks said, “a wedding is an entirely different proposition than getting married.”

[Stop Screen Share]

Our passage for today, another parable of Jesus, an even more bizarre parable than last couple of weeks and a little less bizarre parable than next week, is about a dad who is knee deep in the work of the wedding. Fretting over it being a perfect experience for his son and his daughter in law to be, getting rattled by the last minute complications, and, more than anything, taking offense at the Poor Etiquette & Bad Manners of many of the invitees and one of the unexpected.

It is a story of a King who was also a dad, who recognized the long term negative and positive impacts of the wedding.

Weddings are a cultural phenomenon, the traditions and accepted norms of weddings are different and unique across national boundaries, differing religious institutional ordinances, expected family and even community practices, ancestral rites, and even the latest tic tok and etsy fads. The understanding of weddings, of marriage, and even family, in the times of Jesus would probably be extremely foreign to us today. Sideline fact – weddings are not really a biblical concept, they are not unbiblical, ceremonies often include religious elements but there is nothing dictated in God’s word about guidelines, or even who can marry – making fight about Interacial or Gay Marriage not a biblical argument. 

So, for the royal son’s wedding, invitations were sent out long before. This may have actually been more like the ‘save the date’ announcements sent by brides and grooms in our current day practices. However, their announcement would not have given a time, or possibly even a date, the intention of this announcement would have been more about letting the populus know WHO was invited.  Also, these were probably verbal communications by an official of the Court. THe WHO was an essential element of the wedding, those invited were selected intentionally by  the family of the bride and groom, in this wedding they were probably largely chosen by the royal court. 

But, also, the early invitation would have also been given in order to allow the attendees time to prepare. Afterall, this was the King’s son, the future King, it was a royal affair. This would have been a highly coveted seat at the table of the King as well as the future King. Proper attire and behavior was not only a societal expectation but also a sign of respect, honor, and even allegiance, AND, it was a visual indication of the honor of being invited.

Then, on the day and near the time, when the wedding preparations were completed, when the Bride and Groom were ready, when the food was ready and the table was set – the invited attendees were alerted that it was time. Attendees would then put on the clothes they had readied for the day and would begin their journey.

This is how it was expected to happen… however, this was not how this wedding played out.

For this wedding, when the gates were opened, the King was shocked by the fact that none of the invited guests were waiting to enter. 

The King then sent his slaves out to the invitees to remind them that the wedding was about to take place. Some ignored the reminder, some walked away, others actually attacked and killed the messengers – probably none had done any preparation.

When the news arrived back to the King, he was outraged, sending his armies out to kill those who had killed the slaves, and setting their communities on fire. 

However, the King, the father, was unwilling to give up on the wedding and the feast, so he sent his slaves back out, ordering them to invite everyone on the streets and in the community and to then go out to the main roads. As the wedding hall filled up, and as the seats and table were populated, the King noticed one man there who was not worthy because he was not clothed in the proper wedding attire, this may have been about other behavior as well. The man was speechless that the King noticed him and that the King was vengeful toward the disrespect of the undeserving guest.

As we have often seen in the parables of Jesus in the book of Matthew, we are left with so many questions. While leaving a parable with unanswered questions is often part of God’s plan to spur us on to seeking and searching for answers, Matthew, through the cumulative parables has given us some building blocks to better understand this and other parables.

  • [Slide] Worth is misunderstood by humans – God’s perspective of human worth seldom matches our perspective of who is worthy.
  • [Slide] Forgiveness is only an active reality in our life once we have fully embraced and received it.
  • [Slide] Evil does exist in this world.
  • [Slide] Judgment is the work of God, not us – we are fully incapable of judging others’ religion, faith, actions, relationships, vocation, race, behavioral practices, hearts and minds.
  • [Slide] Generosity is a chief element of God’s character, an element that often clashes with our own expectations.

So, having these building blocks of, let’s tackle some of the questions from this parable:

[Slide] Why did the King act so brutally towards the initial invitees? And, Why was it so important to the Dad of the groom that every seat at the wedding table be filled?

We must recognize that the King was playing two roles, the role of King and the role of Dad. His role of dad is easily interpreted, he wanted this to be a great day for his son and the bride. His role of King, however, led to more complicated responses and actions. The actions of the initial invitees as well as the subsequent guests, were not only showing disrespect toward the current King, but are also signaling their attitudes towards the Prince, the next King. This could have been interpreted as the first firing of the gun of rebellion. In a prophetic sense, this could have also been a statement about those who would reject, and crucify, God’s son. 

[Slide] Why did the King act so brutally towards the guest who exhibited such poor etiquette? And, What is the meaning of Jesus’ words “Many are called, but few are chosen” mean?

These two questions bounce off of each other. The preparation for the wedding would not have just been something that the official invitees would have done. Everyone in the Kingdom would have gotten ready for the celebration, even if their celebration would not be at the actual wedding. It is even probable that at such events, when there were empty seats at an event, individuals were chosen from the crowd, prompting everyone to be prepared to enter the feast. Traditional expectations could have made proper attire an acceptable and expectation of the Hosts. 

During first year students seminary orientation, we were educated on the proper attire for class and chapel. Basically it was be respectful, don’t wear shorts or sweats. This was accompanied by a message, probably meant to comfort us, that we should be thankful that we were not attending a certian seminary in Dallas which required all students to be in full preaching attire, suit, coat, and tie everytime they were on campus or at an official event off campus. We would often sarcastically remind each other of our blessing of not being a Dallas seminarian.

For us as students, we slowly began to understand that, in adhering to the dress code, we were diving into what it meant to be a student at the institution. In following the expectations for all students, we were accepting the identification of being a student. The wedding guests knew this – proper attire and respectful actions were all part of having a seat at the table.

Eventually, everyone within hearing distance was invited to the wedding, but, in the end, not everyone was chosen to be a guest. Why? Because the improperly dressed man did not choose to be a guest. This was an honor, much like the workers in the vineyard who were blessed and honored with the opportunity to be in the field – or even the prodigal son and his brother who did not recognize the blessing of being at home. And, much like the gift of forgiveness, it means nothing unless we fully accept it.

The King pronounced the man ‘Unworthy’ to sit at the table. He was a weed in the wheat fields and his true identity had only became visible at the wedding table. He had attended for a feast, and maybe for entertainment, but he had not made the choice to be chosen. The people that clamored to be a part, that were ready, had made the choice to be chosen. We are the chosen of God when we make the choice to be at the table. Prophetically this can also be a message to God’s grace being extended beyond just the Jews to whom Jesus came to save.

[Slide] Finally, Is this parable about a wedding, a King, a Dad of the groom, a table, disrespectful invited guests, or is it about God and Heaven?

While the story is about all of these, it is the wedding, the table, that is the most primary message. While some of the parables declare that the King, or authority figure, is a representation of God, here we do not. Here the emphasis is on those who are invited a place at the table and even the one who presented unworthy to be seated.

[Slide]  This is the tie in with the other parables we have seen.

[Slide]  The reorientation to God’s perspective of worth away from our perspective.

[Slide]  The issue of true and full acceptance of forgiveness.

[Slide]  The alert to the presence of evil in our world.

[Slide]  The lesson of our inability to judge others.

[Slide]  The weight of Love revealed through Generosity in our relationship with God.

[Stop Screen Share]

Matthew was writing primarily to the believers in Christ around 40-50 years after the accession of Jesus. This was during or after the increased brutality of the Roman oppression, the destruction of the temple, and, after all of Paul’s letters Matthew is writing this gospel after believers unofficially were named ‘Christian’, after Paul had recognized that Christianity would not be a continuation of Judaism. Jesus’ words and parables are a correction to the believers including us. It is not a call to urgently convert others, it is a call to recognize the depth of our own conversion so that we may properly show Jesus’ words and actions sincerely in our marketplace.

Being invited to work in the field and to the wedding table is an honor that comes to us through forgiveness from God. We cannot truly inhabit forgiveness, salvation, and fullness, until we fully embrace God’s exhibited full love perspective.”

The Evangelical movement in the United States of the recent decades, and probably the movement throughout history world wide, as well as a tradition that many of us have grown up in, has missed that truth. In focusing on a very partial understanding of salvation, such as filling every seat at the table, we miss sitting at the table – we have become very agenda driven and hateful thinking. God is calling us to the table.


He is jealous for me loves like a hurricane

I am a tree bending beneath

The weight of His wind and mercy

When all of a sudden I am unaware of

These afflictions eclipsed by glory

I realize just how beautiful You are

And how great Your affections are for me


Oh how He loves us so

Oh how He loves us

How He loves us so



(Yeah) He loves us

Oh how He loves us

Oh how He loves us

Oh how He loves


Verse 2

We are His portion and He is our prize

Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes

If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking

So Heaven meets earth

Like a sloppy wet (unforeseen) kiss

And my heart turns violently inside of my chest

I don’t have time to maintain these regrets

When I think about the way that


  • Next Sunday, Matthew 25:1-13 , ‘Life Long’
  • Wednesdays Noon Bible Study, begins this Wednesday, March 15, Matthew 16:13-28 & Matthew 21, March 15-April 5, Wednesdays at noon
  • Prayer Ukraine, Prayer for Turkey and Syria after earthquake, prayers for our community and our world

Benediction (Blank Slide)

May we go with Jesus’ radical words ‘Happy are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who are gentle, those who hunger and thirst, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who have been persecuted. May we go, with the challenge to be salt and light, to be a light shining before others and in so doing, may we see with God’s eyes and glorify God.

Closing Peace

Leader: May the Peace of the Lord go with you.  

Response: And also with you.

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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