Tim Douglas: Come, You’re invited

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May and June bring additional mail to our mailboxes in the form of invitations to college and high school graduations, and summer weddings.

We are excited when we see a different colored envelope and realize it’s an invitation to a special event in someone’s life that thought enough of us to invite us to share their special day.

I was recently with someone who opened an invitation in my presence and looked at it and was puzzled for a moment about who was getting married. Then, she realized it was her nephew that she had not seen in many years.

Invitations are exciting to receive but the invitation requires a decision.

Do we make plans to go, which may cost time out of work and money for travel and other expenses associated with the trip?

Or, do we select a nice gift and mail a card with our congratulations and our regrets that we will not be able to attend?

As I reflected on this time of year and the several invitations I received a few years ago, the Holy Spirit prompted my thoughts to the invitation word “come” Jesus uses several times in scripture.

Jesus calls his disciples in Mark 1:17: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

In Matthew 14:29, Jesus is walking on the Sea of Galilee in the early morning hours, and Peter said to the figure on the water if it is you Lord call me to come to you. I don’t know what response Peter was expecting but Jesus simply said “Come.”

Peter responded by getting out of the boat and walked on the water.

Matthew 11:28-30 (the message): “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Jesus told his disciples and others in Mark 8:34 that if they were going to be his disciples they would come and deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him.

Invitations are special and individualized. We do not usually receive an invitation by mistake. It is intentional by the one sending the invitation that we are the one who receives it.

With such thought and intensions of the sender an invitation should not be ignored. We should respond in some way to the invitation.

Jesus made it plain that his mission was to seek you and me out and to offer forgiveness of sin to whoever would accept (Luke 19:10).

In other words find you and invite you to become his son or daughter by accepting his invitation of forgiveness.

Jesus’ invitation never expires. Jesus’ invitation requires a response. My prayer is that you will accept his invitation to become your Savior and Lord.

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