Once upon a time, a man lived in the streets, clad only in the dirtiest
and worst of rags. One day a person from the Palace noticed him, and
approached him. There was going to be a banquet at the Palace, and he
had instructions to come and invite people from the highways and byways.
Would the man like to come?
The fellow was indeed interested. However, he could not attend a banquet
dressed in his rags. The Palace representative assured him they would
exchange his rags for some suitable finery to wear to the banquet.
All was in order. The two arrived at the Palace where they went directly
to the dressing chambers of the King. Servants took the filthy rags,
bundled them in a little package, and proceeded to rub, scrub, and clean
the man from top to bottom.
He was then allowed to choose his robes from the closets of the King. He
was told that whatever he picked he would be able to keep, so he
carefully examined all the many garments in the closet. He chose an
exquisite inner garment of purest silk, and an outer robe of finest
purple satin. He was ready for the banquet!
As they left the dressing quarters, the man grabbed his old rags. The
servants told him to just leave them, because he wouldn't need them
anymore. However, he insisted on taking the bundle with him. Even though
he didn't need the rags now, he felt more secure somehow if he could
just hold on to them.
In the Palace banquet hall, the festivities were about to begin. So many
were there, including the King himself. The man was seated, looking
resplendent in his new attire. He hid his bundle of rags on his lap,
underneath the tablecloth, so no one would see them.
The banquet was not to be believed! There was music and dancing, and
every kind of delicacy imaginable. As the trays were passed, the beggar
had difficulty getting the food onto his plate. He was constantly
juggling the package of old rags on his lap, balancing it so it
wouldn't fall off. It constantly distracted him from what was going
on in the grand hall.
Eventually the evening ended and the great gala event was over. Everyone
was stuffed to the gills except for the man clinging to his rag bundle.
He was as hungry as when he had come in. He never had eaten even one
morsel of the food. He had been too busy fixing and holding on to his
Today, you are all invited to God's great banquet, to leave our old
ways and old rags, and to say, "Yes!" to Him and to a new and
glorious way of living. That is good news!