Wedding Clothes

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There is an open field behind my house.

Just beyond it, there is a community of homes named, “Eagle’s Landing.”

A few days ago, a red-shouldered hawk decided to perch on the Eagle’s Landing sign.

I was able to take several photographs before he ventured on his way.

It would’ve been quite the sight if the hawk had actually been an eagle!

Still, to see the painted sign with a living hawk together made me pretty happy.

I started thinking about something, though.

What if the area was an “eagles only allowed” community?

I know that’s a silly thought, but suppose it was?

In that case, the hawk would be out of place.

Not welcome.

He’d be forced to leave.

I thought about an example Jesus gave about a similar situation in the parable of the wedding banquet, found in the book of Matthew, in chapter 22.

Jesus spoke about the kingdom of heaven being like a king who was preparing a wedding banquet for his son. The king had sent those who served him out to tell all the people who had been invited to the event to come, but they wouldn’t. So the king sent more servants to tell them about the banquet being ready and that it was time to come.

Here are some of the verses that follow:

“But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.  The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.  The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.  So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’  So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.”

—Matthew 22:5-11

The king then asks the man how he got into the banquet without wedding clothes.

The man had nothing at all to say, so he is thrown out into the darkness.

So, what does this have to do with hawks and eagles?

None of us can ever enter heaven on our own.

Why?

Because we are all hawks, and only those who are identified as eagles can get in.

How can a hawk become an eagle?

Nothing is impossible with God.

When Jesus died for the payment of our sin, He purchased “eagle clothes” if you will, for everyone who would accept them.

Any hawk found to be without them—-after they have been offered—-will not be able to live forever with God.

Heaven is a real place, just like Eagle’s Landing is a real place.

There, only sinners saved by grace are allowed.

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wedding clothes

Love

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Do you remember the sound of your mother’s voice when you were a child as she called you to come into the house?

What did it sound like when your father called out, motioning you to get into the car to go for a drive?

If you close your eyes and become still for a moment, can you recall their faces when they presented you with a gift?

Was there a day when one of them told you to step quietly to a tree because a nest of baby birds had started to chirp high in the branches?

Can you reassemble the memory of your parents sitting proudly in the audience at one of your ballgames, recitals, plays or graduations?

What did their faces show?

Loving parents live with an awareness of where their children are.

When it is “time to come in” to the house, they instruct them to do so, providing guidance, shelter and direction.

Parents keep children by their sides most of the time, grasping hold of moments to share new things with them.

As a parent gives a gift to their child, there is joy in seeing the delight in their son or daughter’s eyes.

When a parent sees the opportunity to introduce their child to something of wonder, there is a certain happiness that comes from seeing a look of awestruck fascination forming on their little one’s face.

As a loving mom or dad gazes out to the ball field, theater stage or concert hall, their hearts fill with gladness at the knowledge of their children’s dedication to giving their best.

Our Heavenly Father knows where His children are every second.

When it is best to “come in” He calls to us to rest in His shelter.

Our Creator grasps hold of moments in our lives to share new things with us.

When our Heavenly Father chooses a gift for us, surely there must be joy as He sees the delight in our eyes upon receiving it.

As He shows us more and more of His great wonders, don’t you suppose that He is pleased with our fascination?

When He has given us opportunities to give our best in following His leading, don’t you suppose that our Heavenly Father is glad as He sees our efforts?

When our Heavenly Father knows that we love Him, don’t you think it makes Him smile?

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love