We are partners in ministry and creation with God. Whether Moses is pleading for the lives of the Hebrew people, or Paul is pleading with the Philippians to turn to God and to one another for fullness of ministry and joy, today’s scriptures illustrate the power of partnering with God. Jesus presents an image of a wedding banquet that can be truly joy-filled only when everyone participates, from the greatest to the least, in full partnership with God.
Moses reminds God of the divine partnership with the Hebrew people and convinces God not to destroy them when they fall short of God’s expectation. We too are given chances to change God’s mind. Even if we’re not Moses, we are all in a partnership with God. Being created in God’s divine image gives us a unique role and a powerful call to participate fully with the Holy One.
While Moses is on the mountain with God, the people, struggling with how long he has been gone, ask Aaron to make them gods. He agrees, takes their gold jewellery and makes a golden calf which the people then worship, even though he tries to remind them that their celebration is “to the Lord”.
A psalm of confession, remembering how God’s people turned away, and traded God for an image of a calf, forgetting God’s saving acts for them. Also, a recognition that God seemed intent on destroying the people, but for Moses pleading on their behalf.
Jesus tells a story about a king who prepares a wedding feast for his son, but the none of the originally invited guests want to go. So, he sends his soldiers to destroy those guests, and then he invites others from the streets to come in, but when someone is found without wedding clothes, that person is thrown out. Jesus finishes with the well-known saying that many are invited but few are chosen.
Christ who intercedes, we pray that You would intercede for us. Remind us when we do not know what we are doing, how we may be causing harm to others. Call upon us to stop our hurtful ways. Step into the breach for us, to turn us back from deceit and ruin. Intercede in our lives.
Rescue us from our selfishness, from our despair, from our indifference, from our desire for revenge-from all the things that may satisfy us in the short-term but cause long-term damage. Intercede, Christ Jesus, calling us to live into Your ways of forgiveness, reparation, and restoration. Amen.