Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
The Kingdom, Part 12
We have been exploring some of the parables that Jesus’ used in His teachings about how individuals may enter into the Kingdom. These parables have included the Parable of the Treasure Hunter (Mt. 13:44), the Parable of the Pearl (Mt. 13: 45-46), and the Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed (Mt. 13: 1-23). Thus far we have considered some of the requirements for entry into the Kingdom: 1) earnest seekers will find the way (Mt. 7:7-8); 2) we need to do our part to help others connect with Christ (1 Cor. 3:5), and 3) we, like the farmer, plant seeds everywhere we go serving as channels of Jesus’ love and grace and sharing Scriptures and our testimony (plant seeds). We may also serve as teachers and mentors (water seeds). Sometimes we have the privilege of leading someone to Christ (harvesting). (1 Cor. 3: 5b-7) Today we will focus on the significance of the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Mt. 22:1-14).
For those of us whom are married, think back to when you first met your spouse. Did you have a long courting period before getting engaged? How long were you engaged before getting married? Did you spend lots of time together? I met my husband in The Salvation Army Officers Training College (seminary) in Toronto, Canada. A friend of mine was interested in him, but she wanted me to make arrangements for the three of us to go to McDonalds. Over time, he and I went for many walks and became good friends as we talked about likes, dislikes, values, world-view, etc. After we returned from our first year summer appointments, the bond between us grew stronger. My friend noted that I ‘was in love’—good thing, because I would have missed it!
Suddenly, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. We got engaged on September 27th, 1984 (a date we celebrate annually ), but The Salvation Army regulations at that time stipulated that our engagement wouldn’t be officially recognized until we were Commissioned (ordained). Following Commissioning, we were also required to serve in separate appointments (churches) for six months before we could get married. So, circumstances dictated the length of our engagement. [I think those Salvation Army regulations have changed since we were married. ]
Although engagements may be shorter now (some only a month-long), there was a time when it was the norm for there to be an engagement period of 18-24 months between the engagement and the wedding ceremony. Historically, the man would use the time to build a house, make certain that he had a good-paying job to pay a dowry and be able to support his new wife, and eventually, a family. The lady would assemble her “hope chest”, which included linens and clothing that she would need when she got married.
To be continued…
Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)