What is your excuse?

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
My son is the senior pastor of Community Bible Baptist Church here in Pinellas Park, FL., where I worship. He has been pastor here for ten years after having pastored in Groves for 14 years. He has an exceptional staff with each member doing the job in which they are trained to serve. My son and his family went out of town for a few days and our Administrative Pastor Paul Hayenga spoke in the Wednesday evening service.

He used the verses found in Luke 14 concerning the Parable of the Great Supper. One of the most amazing things about Scripture to me is that no matter how long you have been in church, how much you study, or how bright you are, you can always see things in a new light or realize you never thought of something in a particular light. That happened to me last night.

If you are familiar with this passage, you know it is a parable or “an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning.” Jesus says that a master sends his servants out to gather people for a feast or banquet. The hall is ready. The food and drink are ready. But as we read Verses 18-24, we soon realize the servant is met with excuses as to why they cannot accept the generous offer to attend the banquet.

Many Scriptural applications can be shared as to what this teaching infers. Great scholars have spoken and written their thoughts on this beautiful invitation and lack of response with some suggesting that the invitation of the gospel to sinners has been made, but many hearers refuse to heed the call.

The part that Paul’s message brought home to me last night was just how lame the excuses given for not attending really were. The first invitee responded saying he had bought a piece of land and had to go see it. That is dumb. What man with any sense buys a parcel of land that he has not seen?

The second guest said he had just bought five yoke of oxen and had to go test or try them out for himself. Again, dumb businessman. What man with good sense would invest in five yoke of oxen not knowing if they were any good or not?

The guest in Verse 20 informed the servant that he had married a wife and that prevented him from attending the feast. Most young married gentlemen would be thrilled to take the new wife to a highly esteemed gathering to show her off and to assure her how much he loved and how proud he was of her.

Verses 18 and 19 both end with the requests of the invitees to the servant, “Pray thee, have me excused.” Flimsy, self-serving excuses that would not stand the test of time or common sense.

I began wondering as Paul spoke, “How many times in our own life has God asked us to do something or offered us an invitation to something really good, and we replied, “Pray thee, have me excused.” Perhaps we are simply too busy with our business or profession. Or, maybe we do not see the importance of helping someone else. We might even think the task is too demanding or will cost some of our own money. It may be our selfish pride or a lack of genuine compassion that keeps us from getting the blessing God has for us. And, the really sad thing is, there is no telling what blessing, help, and encouragement our acts of obedience could be to others, and to us.

The parable has a happy ending. The master told the servant to go out to the highways and hedges and invite the people you find there. The servant obeyed and the banquet hall was filled for the feast.

The next time someone asks us to do something, or we feel the tugging of the dear Holy Spirit of God, will we answer, “Pray thee, have me excused?” Or, will we answer, “Here am I, Lord, send me.”

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or
[email protected] com

[6-10-2019]

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