You Are Cordially Invited
‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ (Luke 14:17b, NASB)
Before Evite became popular, one would receive invitations, to notable occasions, by way of the mail.
From time to time, the United States Postal Service would deliver an envelope, usually 5×7 in size, to your mailbox.
You open the envelope and read the first line, “You are cordially invited…”. At that moment, you know something extravagant is going to follow.
As you continue to read, the four W’s that every journalist seeks to answer begin to unfold right before your eyes — the who, what, when, and where. You learn who is hosting the event, what the occasion is for, when it will take place, and where it will happen.
You check your calendar to ensure there are no conflicts and then write the event down and begin to think about what you will wear. At least, that is what my sister-friends would do — think about what you’re going to wear.
Over the period of time, you have protected this date on your calendar. Yes, other engagements have come your way, but this one is deemed to be important. So, you guarded it and did not allow anything to push the obligation out of the way.
When the time finally arrives, you’re ready — ready to see what awe-inspiring experience awaits you.
Well, it did not unfold precisely this way in today’s parable.
For you see, a particular group of people received an invitation to a Great Feast. But when it came time for the banquet, they all, with one accord, began to make excuses. (Luke 14:18)
- The first said, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ (v. 18)
- And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ (v. 19)
- Still, another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ (v. 20)
Notice the third guest didn’t ask to be excused. He just couldn’t go.
Unlike the Upper Room experience, in Acts, the 2nd chapter, the 120 that tarried there were of one accord. None were uninterested, unconcerned, or lukewarm. But they all were of one mind ready to receive the promise of the Savior.
However, one by one, these three guests gave their excuses with no regard to their previous commitment, viewing this event to be of lesser importance than what they really wanted to do.
Unlike what we would do, they allowed other things to push their opportunity of a lifetime out of the way. In doing so, they missed their appointed time.
In this season, we cannot afford to lose focus and allow other matters that seem important to cause us to miss our appointed time.
For you see, the threat of unbelief almost caused Sarah to miss her set time.
God told Abraham, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) (Genesis 18:10)
Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (Genesis 18:12)
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:”
Let me propose this. When the sun rose on Resurrection Sunday, it brought about the beginning of a new day — a new season — a newly appointed time in the realm under the heavens.
God has graciously given us the third day. A day in which we will not experience again. Therefore, let us embrace His invitation and move forward with it, for there is a seat at destiny’s table awaiting you.
“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth;” (Isaiah 43:19)
Join me next week for Coffee on The Couch