This parable is harsh on those not wearing a wedding robe. It’s difficult not to see this as an US versus THEM text. As people of faith, we trust that we are safe while pointing the finger at those who are not. At first glance, this text may even seem to promote or justify self-righteous behaviour and thinking. But perhaps there is another way to look at this text.
Suppose this text points out kingdoms that human kings rule, the kind of “kingdom of heaven” that tyrants try to create for themselves, in which a few are appointed with power and privilege while others starve. Perhaps, this text puts a mirror in front of the “kingdom of heaven” we try to create for ourselves with our ruthless kings, but in that reflection we see a king who is contrastingly different: a king who is willing to weep; a king who is crucified between two criminals on the cross; a king who dies and enters the darkness of the tomb.
The rulers of the world’s kingdoms are harsh, but God rules through and beyond darkness to resurrection.
O God of resurrection and hope, may we heed to your generosity. Stir up the dark tomb and unbind us from the harshness of our humanity. Bring forth life in the face of death, and help us to share your vision. Amen. — MP