Monday, September 24, 2007

We Cordially request the pleasure...

Receiving an invitation to an event generally warms the heart. Whether it is to the Christmas party of the wealthy neighbors, the annual family summer-cookout, dinner at a friends house, the prom... whatever the event, we generally don't enjoy being left out. This is because humans are social creatures. We need to feel needed and loved, and this fact is borne out by how we love to be invited to the "popular" events. People have become serial killers because they were scarred by the fact that they were not invited to the prom (Okay, I made this up, but it sounded like a great illustration at the time). Growing up, I was always fortunate to be one of the popular guys in school and so I rarely got left out of the major social happenings. University on the other hand, was a completely different ball game. I discovered that, before we became accepted on the social scene and got invited to all the major parties, we had to pay our dues in the most humiliating of ways.

All the parties we attended were generally by invitation only. They were usually the main event on campus that night and they happened pretty much every weekend. As freshmen, my friends and I would get wind of the party and would engage in the kind of undercover work that would have made James Bond proud, just to find out where the party would be. Sadly, freshmen where never invited to these parties and so when we would eventually make it to the venue, the reward for our persistence was that we would be left outside for hours on end, trying to avoid being seen by some of the girls that we liked so that they wouldn't realize that we hadn't been invited. We were known as "gatecrashers," and on the social totem pole of humanity, gatecrashers were right there at the bottom of the pole with nerds. Unfortunately for us, many of these parties had bouncers at the door that were menacing in appearance and skilled in the martial arts. Sometimes one or two of us would somehow make it into the party, only to be unceremoniously hauled off the dance floor by the eagle-eyed bouncer. This process of self flagelation became too much for some of my friends and they quit going to parties, choosing instead to settle for the less condemning lifestyle of the social outcast!

God's invitation is not just for a meal, it isn't for the biggest barbecue event of the year... it is for life. An invitation to come into His Kingdom and take up residence in a tearless, graveless, painless world. Who can come? Everyone. Whoever wishes. The invitation is at once universal and personal. You don't have to stand outside the windows looking in at the people having fun. You don't have to suffer humiliation and pain to get in only to be unceremoniously taken out again (He already did that for you). All you have to do is accept His invitation. Incase you haven't checked your mail lately... He cordially requests the pleasure of your company to an eternal celebration of life everlasting. I look forward to seeing you there!