“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is ready.’

“But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.

“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.'” (Luke 14:16-20, NRSV).

I have been teaching Bible classes at the local community college for several years now. The students like to make excuses. “I’m working with a youth group. I can’t be there tonight.” “My father is sick. I can’t be there tonight.” “I just got a new guitar in the mail. I can’t stay tonight.” It amazes me sometimes. 

“Do we have to stay the whole time?” “It’s so nice out, can’t you let us go early?” “The doors aren’t locked,” I tell them. “Leave if you think you must. But understand that your choices have consequences.” If you can pass the tests without the information I’m giving you (I’ve yet to meet anyone who has been able to.), I’ll not waste your time. If you don’t care about your grades or the content of the class (a more likely scenario), don’t waste my time. It’s worse when they attend and don’t want to be there. They read (other material, usually magazines), surf the internet, talk to their neighbors. I’d rather you just left. Don’t disrespect me or your classmates.

“I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet” (Luke 14:24, NRSV).