There is a place that has been set especially for you – in this life and in Heaven. It was set with such care, concern and attention to detail. The One who set it slowed down and took the time to envision You specifically when making the arrangements. It has been prepared for You and You only.
You have been invited to come, to join in the festivities and to make your way to the table. You have been asked to be here because there is an important place at this table that only you can fill. There is One who longs to serve you the best that He has to offer because He is good and cares for you so very much.
The time, the talents, the treasures that were sacrificed in preparing this place for you were done out of love and not out of obligation. There was joy in arranging all that was needed to make this place for you possible. There was much planning to put in order the fine points and to set the particulars just right for You.
All that is needed now is for You to come. Come. Come as You are. Come no matter how You feel. Whatever You have done, where ever You have been, whatever has been done to You- COME. This place awaits You. No other can take Your place. No one can keep You away but Yourself. Come, be welcomed and take Your place at the table.
I have an eight year old daughter who is in the third grade. As I sit back and reflect upon her, upon her friends, upon their relationships it is easy to see how important an invitation is. It is a huge deal for her to invite a friend to a birthday party, a slumber party or just over for a play date. She is absolutely filled with joy when she is invited to the event of her friend.
This morning I ponder that desire that we have inside to be invited. To be part of a glorious gathering of people. I think of the hurt and the wounds that can be inflicted upon us when we are not invited, or even worse when it is outwardly declared that we are unwanted and unwelcome.
I know that I have certainly felt unwanted and unwelcome. I sit here in dumbfounded awe this morning realizing that it only takes one person who pushes that message of being unwanted to make us stay away. There could be a handful, or tens or even hundreds who encourage us and prompt us to come, but we avoid because of the one. Why does the one who does not want us, who does not appreciate us, who does not even take the time to really get to know our hearts have such an impact upon our decisions to go or to stay away?
I also sit here saddened this morning, not just because I have been unwanted and unwelcome, but because I am guilty of having been the cruel one to be unwelcoming, to be the one who keeps people away, the one who has made hurtful statements which have left others wounded. For that I long to repent. I wish more than anything in this moment that I could take it all back. I am so sorry to have been that kind of person.
I wish I could sit here now and say I will never do it again. But I am a sinner. I am incredibly selfish. I make poor choices. I think bad thoughts. I say stupid things. I use a poor tone of voice to deliver messages that were not meant to come out that way. Because these are all truths, I am sure – as much as I would love the contrary to be true – that I will again injure, offend and hurt others.
So I quietly pray to myself that I would find forgiveness for past sins, for current sins and for those sins I have yet to commit. May God bless these circumstances not just with forgiveness but with reconciliations. May He bring back together that which I have separated intentionally or unintentionally.
Today as you read these words the story of Your life and the story of My life intersect. I do not know what has been happening in the plot line of your life in depth or detail, just as you have not been privy to that which has been swirling around in the narrative of my life. But today, for some reason, there is a plot twist that includes us both; right now in this moment we have been brought together.
I just want to take this moment to tell you this;
YOU ARE INVITED!
There is a God who loves you so much he has set a beautiful place just for You are His table. You are a VIP on His guest list. I am just a meager messenger, so low and undeserving, yet even I have been invited and have a place at this table. If God will make room for me, He certainly has a place for You.
“You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.” Psalm 23:5 (NLT)
A feast is prepared for you. No matter what or who is facing you. In spite of the opposition that may be trying to keep You away.
This is not just a placed hidden away in a corner, tucked in a back room. No! This is a place of honor. A place of great greetings and salutations where You will be welcomed as if you just arrived at home. Many preparations have been made for Your arrival as You are a much anticipated guest.
There is so much awaiting You that Your cup will overflow. There is love, compassion, mercy, peace and joy that will spread out before you in measures that will leave you in awe.
All that you have to do is come. You do not have to prepare. You do not have to work harder. You do not have to prove yourself worthy. You do not have to earn it and you will not be made indebted to it.
It is a precious gift that has been given to You with free spirit.
Come. Find your place. Take in the excitement. Be encouraged by the love. Savor the joy. Allow yourself to just be you. Come to Your place, for you are the only one who can be seated in it.
Your invitation comes not from me, but from the One who sent me. The One who designed the intersection of my life with yours. This is what He says.
“Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me
so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and
be strengthened as you take up responsibilities
among the congregations of God’s people.” Luke 22:30 (Message)
Sweet and Beloved Lord,
Lord, thank You so much for being a God who willingly and openly invites us. Lord, I know that I sit before You guilty and ashamed of so much. Lord, there have been so many mistakes in my life. There is so much evidence to find me guilty and condemn me for all eternity. I should be turned out and sent away. Yet, here You welcome me with open arms. When I have drifted away, You have spent so much preparing for my return. You stand watching and waiting in eagerness for me to just come. You are filled with such goodness that my spot at Your table is not determined by my deserving of it, but instead is freely given by Your offering.
Lord, I thank You today for the lives that have intersected my own. Thank You for writing our chance meetings into Your book of life. Lord, I do not know what this encounter will mean for either of us. But, I wanted You to know that I am grateful for this opportunity. I ask, Lord, that You would allow me to be one who is inviting in their lives. Help me to hold the door open that they may come in and not the one who slams it in their face.
Lord, please bless these readers with an abundance of Your goodness. Care for the tiniest details in their lives and also reveal Your all out majesty to them. May Your power and might be visible in their days, but may the softness of Your touch and the tenderness of Your heart also be revealed to them.
May they come to the place at Your table that You have specific laid out for them. May they feast until they find that all of the empty holes within them are filled to overflowing.
Many thanks from an unworthy woman who, has graciously been allowed to pray in Your Name, Amen.