I lift up my eyes to you,
to you whose throne is in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
“The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a king gave a wedding banquet for his son. The king sent some servants to tell the invited guests to come to the banquet, but the guests refused.
He sent other servants to say to the guests, ‘The banquet is ready! My cattle and prize calves have all been prepared. Everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ “But the guests did not pay any attention. Some of them left for their farms, and some went to their places of business. Others grabbed the servants, then beat them up and killed them.
“This made the king so furious that he sent an army to kill those murderers and burn down their city. Then he said to the servants, ‘It is time for the wedding banquet, and the invited guests don’t deserve to come. Go out to the street corners and tell everyone you meet to come to the banquet.’ They went out on the streets and brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike. And the banquet room was filled with guests.
“When the king went in to meet the guests, he found that one of them wasn’t wearing the right kind of clothes for the wedding. The king asked, ‘Friend, why didn’t you wear proper clothes for the wedding?’ But the guest had no excuse. So the king gave orders for that person to be tied hand and foot and to be thrown outside into the dark. That’s where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain.
Many are invited, but only a few are chosen. (CEV)
“A note of warning must be uttered against the idea of ‘building the Kingdom.’ The New Testament never tells us that we are to build the Kingdom. We are told to ‘see,’ to ‘enter,’ to ‘receive,’ and to ‘proclaim’ the Kingdom, but never to build it. The difference? It is profound and far reaching. For if we are to build the Kingdom, then it is something that we bring into life, something that we produce. But the Kingdom is already in existence; it is a fact, so it is something we ‘receive.’”
-E. Stanley Jones
The earth is the LORD’s,
and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.