SCRIPTURE: Revelations 19:9 (TM)
The Angel said to me, "Write this: 'Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.'" He added, "These are the true words of God!"
John Bisagno former Pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church tells the story of his coming there to candidate for the position of pastor many years ago. He said that as he entered the auditorium it was dimly lit, with just a few people huddled together. They were singing some old slow funeral type song that was depressing.
Later that day he took a walk in downtown Houston and came upon a jewelry store. It was some sort of grand opening and there were bright lights and a greeter at the door to welcome you in with a smile. Inside there was a celebration going on. There were refreshments and people having a good time talking and laughing with each other. They welcomed him and offered him some punch. He said that after attending both the church and the jewelry store, if the jewelry store had offered an invitation, he would have joined the jewelry store!
Ever go to a party and wish you hadn’t? Ever hear about a party to which you hadn’t been invited? Ever hear the apology, “Oh, I’m sorry, the invitation must have gotten lost in the mail”?
It is never a good feeling to not be invited is it? As Dr. Bisagno discovered some churches act like they a throwing a party to which very few are being invited. And those who do show up begin to wonder why did they bother.
We have much to learn from the business world about making people feel welcomed and appreciated. Every Sunday should be like a huge party being thrown and everyone should feel like they are just about the most important guest every to show up. That’s the way it should be, but all too often isn’t.
Everyone has been invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb … everyone. And if they don’t show up maybe we really should go find them and bring them. There are plenty of “jewelry stores” who are ready to convert these guests to become regular shoppers at their facility. We have much to learn.
Help us to act as if we are really glad someone showed up at our party … Help us to work with a sense of expectation so that we are not surprised when they show up. Keep us on the outlook for those who do not feel like they have been invited.