I love Facebook and all the connections with old and new friends I can make as I comment on status updates or simply surf through my friends’ pages. I absolutely enjoy reading what is going on in their lives. I get the skinny on what’s happening out there, and then I feel informed.
But, I have to admit I don’t enjoy every aspect of FB. I don’t usually read the “notes” people write, I never play Farmville, and I rarely accept those Group Invitations. Hey, I barely have time to update my own status, much less join a gazillion groups or play with barn animals.
This weekend, my husband finished our Friend Request message series with a story about a group invitation in the book of Matthew. You can read the story for yourself here, but I’ll share with you the bottom line. Jesus tells the story of a king who had prepared a grand banquet and invited several guests, but all who were invited refused to come. Shocking, if you think about it for a second. Who would turn down a chance to party with a king? Really. Free food, lovely atmosphere, and a chance to rub elbows with someone so….untouchable? Count me in. But, none of the guests felt the same way. Their overcrowded schedules held no room for the king and his feast. Finally, the king told his servants to go out into the streets and invite anyone they saw – good or bad – to join him at his banquet. When all was said and done, though, the king’s house was full.
It’s hard to imagine that people would turn down such an invitation. If Prince Charles had invited me to William and Kate’s wedding banquet, I would have put this blog on hold – along with the rest of my life – and caught the next flight out of here. I wouldn’t pass up that opportunity!
Alas, Jesus wasn’t really talking about a king with a bunch of party poopers. His story had a double meaning. He was really talking about His Father – the One True King – and the great party He has prepared for us – Heaven. He sends His messengers out inviting people to come to His banquet, but so many turn down His invitation. Some people choose to follow God; some don’t.
But, here’s the part of my husband’s message that struck a chord with me. He pointed out that the messengers in the story represent Christians…..that we are the ones handing out God’s great invitation to the world around us. As His servants, He has instructed us to “go and tell” and invite our friends and families to come to Him. I am God’s messenger! So are you!
Here’s something else Shawn pointed out: The invitation is from God, not from me. It’s not my job to make fruit, to change lives, or to play the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the people I’m inviting. My job is to simply extend the invitation. (Did a burden just lift from your heart, like it did from mine?) I don’t need to connive, nag, or bribe anyone to know my King. I only need to extend His invitation.