There seems to be a lot of anger and despair around us these days. Maybe it’s there personally in your life too. But Jesus wants us to learn that we have far better reasons to be celebrating than to be brooding in anger or despair. He points this out when He was criticized because He and His followers were not fasting. Jesus said, "How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them." (Mark 2:19) It would be unthinkable for guests at a wedding feast to fast. It would actually be inappropriate and offensive. As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. They must feast and celebrate.
Do you see why Jesus' followers (the wedding guests) weren’t fasting? Jesus is the Bridegroom, and His presence is reason for celebrating! There before them stood God in the flesh to fulfill everything that pointed to and prepared the people for the Savior’s coming. His critics missed the point of fasting and all the other Old Testament religious laws. God gave those laws to emphasize their need for a Savior, not to earn favor with Him. But self-righteousness blinds people so that even when the Savior is standing right in front of them, they don’t see Him. We make the same mistake if we view going to church and other forms of piety as religious acts to please God or to make ourselves better. Those self-righteous ideas blind us from seeing the purpose for which Jesus came, lived, suffered, and died; they rob us of the joy of forgiveness and eternal that is ours in Christ, even in the face of any reasons for anger or despair. So come to church, for all the right reasons. LET US CELEBRATE – THE BRIDEGROOM IS WITH US!
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.