The Parable of the Great Banquet is found in Luke 14: 15-24. This is a modern day retelling of that story…..
“The Mayor’s Dinner”
A mayor in a city not far from here was planning an extravagant dinner for the community. He desired for the entire city to attend and dine with him at this extravagant dinner that was beyond compare.
This mayor had several close friends. These friends helped him set up for this feast and prepare the great mansion he lived in for those who would come. They sent out invitations to the entire city. They took out radio and television advertisements for the dinner. They even had billboards set up all around the city. Expectation was high, this feast was to be beyond compare.
The evening arrived and there were no guests an hour past the scheduled start time. The mayor looked at his friends with scorn.
“Did you do as I requested?,” he asked, “The advertisements and the invitations should have made it clear that this dinner was not to be missed.”
One of his friends spoke up, “We did all this and more, I cannot understand why no one showed up.”
“Then go,” the mayor responded, “this dinner shall not be wasted. I want you to go door to door and ask people why they refused to come.”
At this, his friends went into the city flagging people down and knocking on doors to ask people why they refused to come to the feast.
“I didn’t want to miss my favorite show,” one woman replied.
“I had to wash clothes,” another quipped.
“I went to the dinner he threw last month,” a young man replied.
“I’ve been to so many of his dinners in my lifetime I thought I would sit this one out,” an old man reasoned.
“I’ve been to his dinners before. They’re all the same. Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal,” an older woman explained.
The friends of the mayor returned to him with the answers they received.
“I see,” the mayor replied to their findings, “It seems this city has taken my generosity for granted. They view my dinners as burdens, rituals, and bothersome. I have a new request. Go out beyond this city and invite those that this city cast out.”
“Are you sure?” one of his friends asked.
“Yes,” this mayor responded, “Go find those who this city has marginalized, oppressed, and denied entry to. This city I dearly love has become corrupt with wickedness and has taken me for granted. Do they not understand that my patience has grown thin? They elect me as their leader and then shun people from my city and this makes me look evil. Do they not grasp that they are representing my city and myself in a horrible light?”
The mayor’s friends saw the sincerity in his eyes.
“For years I have sat at the head of this great city,” the mayor continued, “I watch as the people who dwell here out of my grace continue to bring grief upon others. I watch as they say they understand my policies, my stances, and myself. They come only when it suits them. They come only when they need of me. They would rather deny someone entry to my city so that they cannot eat at my table. They would rather push others away as they sit in my company. They have made barriers that no man can get through so that no one who is different may feast with me. It is time that those who have been rejected by this city dine with me. Tonight, I tell you that the residents of this city shall not feast with me again.”
His friends looked on in bewilderment.
“Therefore, go and gather up those who have been kicked out, pushed out, and denied entry to my city. Tonight and forevermore, they shall dine with me!” The mayor concluded.
The mayor’s friends did as they were told. They returned with these people as the citizens of the city looked on. The hardness in their hearts blinded them to what was happening until they saw these outsiders entering the mayor’s house.
Late against the darkness of the night, the light coming from the mayor’s house was blocked by the closing of his door and the door never opened again.