PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, help me stick with you even when I'm grumpy, because you never give up on me. Amen!


"The kingdom of heaven," Jesus taught, "is like a king who gave a wedding feast. The people he invited wouldn't come, so he told his servants, 'Go out and invite whoever you see.' The servants filled the hall with people, good and bad together." Jesus added, "Many are invited, but few are chosen."

When a kid gets grumpy, look out! It's like you're walking around with a storm cloud over your head. The first person who annoys you is going to get thunder and lightning all over them!

Of course, even when you're in a grumpy mood, you want people to remember you're a good person. This week's Gospel (Matthew 22:1-14) is about times like that.

In the Gospel story, a king throws a party, but the first group of people he invites don't show up. That's a surprise, because he had probably invited people he thought were friends and would enjoy a good party with lots of food, music and fun.

Instead, the king decides to invite other people -- even some that most folks wouldn't think of as being good party guests. He invites people who are poor, who are grumpy, who are total strangers. He basically invites everyone in town, good or not. Even if you're feeling grumpy, you'd probably want to be invited to the party. A good time can lighten anyone's mood. Maybe you'd become more cheerful!

Jesus' story makes that point. The king in the story is God, and the people are us. God doesn't just invite special people to be close to Him; He invites everybody: rich and poor, cheerful and grumpy, friends and strangers. Then God sits back and waits to see who shows up.

Everyone has grumpy days. God does not give up on you just because you're struggling. You're always invited to the party. Show up and get closer to God, and the storm clouds over your head might clear up!