If you wrestle with this Matthean parable through the night, it'll leave you limping by morning. Martin Luther didn't like preaching on it, and worshipers in early October won't be in the mood for its judgment. While this teaching occurs as Jesus travels to the cross, we worshipers are still a long way from Holy Week observances. Our minds are on football games, Oktoberfest fun and Halloween costumes. We're having too much fun to gnash our teeth. But the odd gift of the lectionary is that it does not give us the freedom to avoid difficult scripture, nor does it give us total control over passages that refuse to be tamed by our interpretative tools. To mix things up even more, we are presented with Paul's glorious hymn of praise in Philippians. How do we always "rejoice in the Lord" who casts an invited guest into the outer darkness?