Pastor Nate preached from Luke 14:15-24 last Sunday. The parable of the great banquet is compelling and comforting, but there aren’t a lot of songs based on this text. Charles Wesley to the rescue! In 1747, he wrote a beautiful hymn that turns this parable into a sung altar call. I found the text on hymnary.org and loved it immediately. The tune? Not so much.
In my opinion, my lively folk melody captures the urgency of the call to salvation in the text better than the staid hymn tunes traditionally used. I can imagine Charles and his brother John riding into a town on horseback, preaching a rousing sermon, then calling to the audience to come to Jesus. All while this song is sung by the town crier. (It’s my day dream; I’ll tell it any way I want!)
1. Come, sinners, come to the gospel feast,
let every soul be Jesus’ guest.
Let not even one be left behind,
for God has called all humankind.
2. Do not begin to make excuse;
do not his lavish grace refuse;
your worldly cares and pleasures leave,
and take what Jesus freely gives.
3. Oh, come and share the gospel feast,
be saved from sin, in Jesus rest;
O taste the goodness of our God,
and eat his flesh and drink his blood.
4. See Christ set forth before your eyes;
behold the bleeding sacrifice;
his offered love make haste to_em-brace,
and freely now be saved by grace.
5. All who believe his words are true
shall dine with him and he with you;
come to the feast, be saved from sin,
for Jesus waits to take you in.