Wooden cross in Good Shepherd Chapel



Expand the Invitation List

Lent 2018

When my family has a party, we invite our friends and family. That is who we are most comfortable hanging out with. It’s easier. It’s what you do. But Jesus keeps telling us over and over again through His word to expand his kingdom by expanding our invite list.

La Mesa, Spanish for “The Table,” is a ministry in the east valley of Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday evenings that our church has used to expand our invite list. La Mesa has taught our church family that the poor don’t need our money, but need the gift of meaningful relationships. So our church has invited them to our table to eat, to drink, to cry, to laugh, to receive, to respond, and to worship. All those that attend La Mesa say that they benefit greatly from belonging to an all-inclusive, loving Gospel-centered community.

For the eternal party that is being planned for the new heaven and new earth, Jesus desires more and more people, actually, all people, to receive his invitation of grace through faith in him. In Luke 14, Jesus tells a Pharisee who invited him to dinner at his house that he invited the wrong people. Jesus expands the invitation list to “the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” (Luke 14:13).

I know… you don’t invite people who are different than you to the dinner table. It’s uncomfortable. It’s costly. It can be awkward. You worry over what to say. Jesus is with you. He will give you words to say. Jesus empowers you with his Holy Spirit to lead you and guide your words.

In the end, nobody will want to be left off God’s invite list. Thanks be to God, someone invited us and we have received his grace. This Lenten season, living in the love of Jesus, think about a person who needs to know God’s invitation and pray:

Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me. You love me so much. And you love _______ (insert name of someone you want to reach out to). It might cost me my time, my treasures, or my comfort, but I want to reach out to this person so that I can build a relationship with them. They need Jesus just as much as I do. Lord, prepare their heart to receive my invitation to coffee, to dinner and to live life together. You live and reign for all eternity. Praise be to you, O Jesus. Amen!

Rev. Jake Boessling '05
Christ’s Greenfield Lutheran Church & School, Gilbert, AZ

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