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8 Min Read

The Grand Ball Arena

Published on

May 23, 2022

“Owambes” in Nigeria are a big deal!

Owambe simply means a big party, especially the ones with plenty food, drinks, and souvenirs. Most Owambes are wedding ceremonies with a lot of travelling guests. Usually, the couple would have sent invitations to the guests several weeks and months before the wedding. The reason for these invitations is to get a sense of how many people the ceremony would cater to and make preparation accordingly… “Reservations” in short. Though it’s not unusual to find uninvited guests attend these big parties, people whose CSR objective is to ensure that nothing prepared by the organisers goes to waste. Such a noble cause! 🙂

But here’s an intriguing story!

The richest King in the world is personally making reservations for the guests invited to his son’s mega wedding ceremony. He had sent out invitations two full years in advance, asking to know if his renowned guests would be chanced to come for the wedding, but quite astonishingly, none of the guests responded to his invitation. The gold-plated bouquet containing the light feather inked and personalized invite with a complimentary iPhone 13 pro max in the invite box was completely disregarded by everyone who received it. Meanwhile, the King couldn’t wait on their response before making full arrangements for every single person that “could” show up.

The rich King had to build a whole new city for this wedding as he was expecting thousands of guests from all over the world and would not have his guests scampering for hotel reservations in the suburbs. So, he built a whole new city just for them… in anticipation. New roads, new hotels, new parks, new halls, and a mega cathedral at the center of the City; The Grand Ball Arena! It was the most magnificent Cathedral in the whole realm. Remember, none of the invited guests had replied his invites or even acknowledged it. He wasn’t doing this because he was sure they were coming, he did this for the chance of them coming at all, which was getting unlikelier with every passing moment.

This did not deter the king as he ramped up construction work at an incredible speed leading up to the wedding. Few weeks to the Big Day, not one of his invited friends like the Presidents of other Nations, Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Diplomats, Super Stars, etc. had even acknowledged his invite. Things were getting really awkward and uncomfortable now, especially for the young “about to wed” couple. But the King wasn’t perturbed because he knew exactly what he would do.

Tick tock tick tock…

It’s 7am in the morning on the wedding day and no one had still shown any form of interest in honouring the King’s prestigious invite. Remember, the King built a new city for the sole purpose of accommodating all his potential guests at this wedding and the day finally arrives and not even a “bird” showed up. Everyone in the Palace by this time had gotten extremely anxious, except the King. He was the one supposed to be most displeased, but here he was, having a tap dance while sitting majestically on his throne. What was on his mind? How could anyone stay calm in the midst of such crisis?

Suddenly, the King calls out to his servants and says to them…

“The time has finally come for the most prestigious wedding in all of human history to get underway. My son and his bride tie the knot today! Oh, what a joy! I am so elated. If you rode a chariot in my tummy, none of the horses would miss a step. All things are ready; the food, the drinks, the cakes, the Car and CofO souvenirs, the hall, the aisle, the glamour! My palatial royalty and opulence is on its fullest display today, I have spared nothing!”

“Now, go to the streets, street corners, suburbs, slums, outskirts, neighbouring villages, forgotten highways, dark alleys, allen too, rehabs, prisons, clubs and under bridges… Go with the fleet of 30-seater buses. Tell them that the King has invited them to a party at his newly built city. They need not go home in search of what to wear, the King will provide what they’ll wear once they get here. Tell them it does not matter how they look, tell them the King will fix their looks. Tell them it does not matter what business they’re handling and whatever money they have to let go in order to make the party, tell them the King will repay in 10 folds, what they could have made. Tell them to leave everything and only follow you as they are, to the party”

By 11am that morning, an hour to the wedding, the newly built City was buzzing with loud music, cheers, and ecstatic exuberance, all seats were occupied. You guessed right… None of the original invitees were missed. You couldn’t even tell the new set of guests only knew about the wedding literally hours before. Such a beautiful sight it was! What was sure to become a disaster of a day, had become the most talked about, streamed, tweeted, liked, shared, and reposted story on the internet in less than 3 hours. You really should see the looks on the faces of everyone who disregarded the invite in that moment when the story became the number 1 trend on all social media platforms. #TheGrandBallArena was the hashtag on everyone’s timeline. Incredible right?

Then the King comes out of his loft and glides through the aisle to see his guests. He shakes hands and exchanges pleasantries with those along his path. There are literally thousands of them in the GBA by now, how could he greet them all?

All of a sudden, the King picks out a guest and begins to walk toward him. He gets to him and asks, why aren’t you dressed like all others? “Well, I didn’t need the uniform your men handed me when I got here… I came to a party, not a school”. “Fair enough” the King retorted, “Michael! Get this man out of here and out of all my jurisdictional provinces. He is not fit to be here.” “Er r ermm, Sir, but your servant who invited me told me to come as I am,” said the man, “… And he also told you that the King would cloth you once you arrived at the party, didn’t he?” Said the King. “Ye yey yes he did Sir,” said the man. “Michael here, will only take you to where you already want to be; a place where there are more than enough people like you dressed up in their cute little self-made rags. You see, young man… This is my party, and while I don’t determine who shows up, I determine how they show up here.”

“Michael! Away with him!!”

The sight from the King’s loft was such a beautiful one; a sea of heads dressed and adorned in an impeccable white robe of the highest lush quality. Not a single person in that Arena had any business attending it just hours before, but here they were, full of ecstacy, in the middle of the most incredible atmosphere ever seen. The refusal of others who would not heed the call had given them a shot at royal priesthood. For they were the wild olives who were grafted in, lest the sacrifice of the King and His Son be made of none effect!

Romans 11

Cast

The King- God The Father; John 3:16

The King’s Son- God The Son; John 3:16

The King’s Son’s Bride- The Spotless Church; Ephesians 5:27

Original Invitees- The Jews; John 1:12

Party Attendees- The Gentiles; John 1:12–13, Romans 11

The King’s Servants- Preachers of the Gospel; Mark 4:14

The Party- The Marriage Supper of the Lamb/Heaven; Revelation 19:9

The Garment given to Guests- The Robe of Jesus’ Righteousness; Isaiah 61:10

The Man with a different Garment- The Self Righteous Hypocrite; Luke 11:10–14

The Garment worn by the Man- The Filthy Rags of Self Righteousness; Isaiah 64:6

Where Michael was taking the Man to- Hell; Matthew 22:13

This story is based on a “Truth Life” narration in Matthew 22:1–14.

Let this story be a reminder to you, that the entirety of your qualification to appear before God’s presence with any sense of worthiness at all, is all a function of the matchless, relentless, and incredible Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For we are who we are by that amazing Grace.

Let this be your living testimony!

Have a beautiful week ahead.

Dami Oguntunde

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