You crushed it. You absolutely crushed it! The challenge was up to $1000—the flash match raised $6,724. With the $1,000 match, that’s $7,724! On Sunday we were only about $2,500 short of our campaign goal—we are now $5,224 past the goal and climbing, as many folks continue to finish their pledges. I hand delivered our $50,000 check to the synod, and they’ll be sending us a check for $100,000 so as soon as we get the work plan finalized, we’ll get started.
You are amazing. Thank you. I am honestly flabbergasted at the commitment you have shown to this church through this campaign. Everyone gave what they could, and when you put all that together it’s more than enough. God always provides more than what we need, and I thank God for providing all of you. No gift was ever too small, and we needed every single one. So thank you so much.
So, when our Fall Ball comes in November, we’re really going to celebrate. Our building is old and creaky, and it will always need repair, so we’ll continue the Fall Ball as a fundraiser for a while, at least. But at this one we’re really going to try to celebrate the gifts God has given: the legacy of our forbears, the diversity of our neighborhood, and the congregation that faithfully meets to love and serve God.
Our Gospel text this week is also about a ball—a wedding ball, a wedding feast. But the invited ones failed to come. So the king then sends out his servants, and they gather in everyone off the street, and they celebrate instead.
But Matthew adds an interesting twist to this story. One poor schmuck shows up in regular clothes. The king goes to him and says, “Why aren’t you wearing your nice clothes? This is a wedding celebration! How did you even get in here?” And then he threw him out.
It’s a weird twist. But I think it’s a warning that we shouldn’t be surprised when we hear God asking us for something that seems too good to be true. The message of God’s love and salvation for the world can seem unreal. But we oughtn’t be like the guy who couldn’t believe he was going to the king’s party and so didn’t put on a wedding robe. Rather, we should remember that we are wedded to Christ in a perpetual celebration, and we should walk around in our best clothes all the time. These are the clothes of compassion, mercy, faithfulness, and love—wedding clothes for the great feast of God. Not only will we look good, but we’ll do good.