Accepting the Invitation

In Matthew 22:2-3 Jesus says “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.”  So, the question I pose is how can we partake in the Wedding Feast in the kingdom of heaven rather than declining to be part of Jesus’ mission?

Too often I can claim to have other things I need to do rather than giving up my time to proclaim the Gospel to others. That is why it is important to find a life balance.  For me it is a matter of prioritizing what is important in my life and how that affects not only my relationship with others but my relationship with God. Thus, it is essential that I make the time to fit everything in.

Moreover, I would argue that to find this equilibrium I need to be proactive in relationships. That is giving quality time to my family and friends therefore witnessing the gospel values through positive interactions. Furthermore, this is evident through my dialogue and active listening that will ensure this is an enjoyable experience for all parties. Additionally, for that life balance it is making time for my passions, that enables me to release the pressure from my study and work and is special to me. However, a word of warning it is important that my interests don’t override my relationships with God and others.

This brings me to my final point that is for my life to be productive I need to make time for reflection. This is a period where I can reflect on my experiences, relationships and devote myself to prayer, or go to a mass celebration and share my thoughts with God. I think it helps me towards a perfect life balance of spiritual, social an emotional necessity. These translate into positive relationships with God and others whom I encounter daily. Besides, it enhances my experiences and well -being which enables me to proclaim the Gospel through my personal witness. Likewise, it gives me the opportunity to ensure I am ready to accept the invitation to wedding feast in the kingdom of heaven.

The Message

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says to his disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” My question is how do the disciples and Christians today turn these words into actions?

For me I would liken it to the game plan a coach gives his team before they go out to play. The coach reiterates his game plan to the players and exhorts them to carry it out. However, what if the players fail to respond to the game plan or the game plan was flawed and the team loses. How does the coach react?

Some coaches with their assistants like to watch the game again analysing where the team went wrong.  Though, I would call this paralysis by analysis as you can have all the game plans you want but it doesn’t necessarily correlate into victory.  When Jesus told his disciples to preach the message of the Gospel, I am sure not everyone embraced them or Jesus’ teachings but what the apostles did was persist with Christianity having the world’s greatest following.

Next, I believe that all coaches should go with their gut instinct. That means relaying too much information to players gets lost in translation. I would argue a coach should welcome feedback from the players although he/she should trust in their own game plan as ultimately, they are responsible for the team’s performance. I would think that Jesus would have engaged in ongoing conversation with his disciples nevertheless, what they had to say would not have deterred him from his mission. For example, Matthew 16:21-23 “He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man”.

Finally, a coach needs to fix his eyes on the prize and cut him/herself off from mass and social media. For media sometimes does not promote team harmony and can create disunity within the team organisation and the fanbase. Thus, it is not going to be a fight that a coach can win and distracts him/her from what is important his /her own appraisal about the team both on and off the field.  For Jesus it was the Pharisees that tried to bring him undone and eventually their planning led to Jesus’ death. However, Jesus was strong in his own convictions rebuking them when they tried to undermine his mission. For Jesus as it should be for a coach, “Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14.

The Art of Forgiveness

In John 22-23, Jesus says to his disciples,  if you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

I would suggest that Jesus believed that when confronted by a dilemma, that requires contrition, to achieve a positive resolution, forgiveness needs to occur. Why is this so?

I would argue that disagreements when both people do not actively seek to resolve the issue will see the problem continue to linger and sometimes even spiral out of control. That is why the first step in any conflict that is starting to escalate is to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. This I consider assists in creating an opportunity for a successful outcome.

The second step once you have detached yourself from the scene is to reflect on the circumstances, owning your contribution to the problem and formulating strategies that will help you move forward with the other person. Until you begin to do this you can’t even contemplate reaching a solution.

The final step is to set up a meeting with the person to reconcile your differences over the dispute which escalated and now requires both people to forgive one another. This I feel necessitates both parties to strive for a compromise where both their needs can be met otherwise you are back to square one. Jesus offered the best solution that is forgiveness of one another for failing to reach an agreement in the first place.