18 “Then they all began to beg off, one after another making excuses. The first said, ‘I bought a piece of property and need to look it over. Send my regrets.’
19 “Another said, ‘I just bought five teams of oxen, and I really need to check them out. Send my regrets.’
20 “And yet another said, ‘I just got married and need to get home to my wife.’
21 “The servant went back and told the master what had happened. He was outraged and told the servant, ‘Quickly, get out into the city streets and alleys. Collect all who look like they need a square meal, all the misfits and homeless and wretched you can lay your hands on, and bring them here.’
– Luke 14: 16-21 (The Message)
Jesus is talking about the call of Salvation. Jesus calls many great people to come to him, to join him in bringing the good news, as vessels for the Spirit of Christ to work in and through.
Look around you and see all these talented people in this world. I see movie after movie; Compelling characters, well shot, well written. I hear band after band, great sound, great technique, great musicianship; they invoke emotion. Talented people! But what are they using it for? I see all these God gifted people frustrated, these rich people frustrated. Its because they have hit a brick wall of wanting something they do not have. Jesus Christ has designed, has invited them to dine with him but instead they sit at the cheap, poorly constructed tables they built themselves out of plastic instead of the majestic wooden banquet table God the father has built. These plastics are manufactured by the excuses Christ spoke of. If these talented individuals know its God who called them to something better they say:
¨I will serve him when I have the time, ¨
¨When I have enough money¨
¨Well you see I am so busy¨
¨When I get older and am mature enough¨
And if they don’t know they make excuses not to know.
¨Church is boring¨
¨I don’t like the music¨
¨I do not like the people¨ etc.
We as Christians do the same thing. We are all too self-sufficient and comfortable. Gods invitation to really live gets drowned out by our I-Pods, movie theaters, T.V. shows, video games, magazines, clubs, hobbies and our oh so busy lives (though we find time for all the distractions listed above). So we sit at plastic tables, eating heated up spam, wondering why we can’t seem to hear from God and where that desire we once felt has gone. All the while there is delectable banquet to be had.
So who is eating at the wonderful dining room of Christ! Those who lack the luxury of western- civilization. The poor and downtrodden, the ones who have nothing but a dog eared copy of the new testament or less then that; only the fellowship of fellow Christians who join together in prayer seeking Gods wisdom in their lives. They truly live out their salvation, for they appreciate the gifts from Gods table.
A young pastor from Africa who’s Bible training consisted of being in the word constantly and monthly sabbaticals into the wilderness for weeklong prayer and fasting said that he never wanted his church to see how we as Christians live in the west.
For we have become fat on hot dogs and Mac and Cheese when Lobster and Steak our offered to each of us everyday.
These third world countries are not so poor as we think. By majority they are far richer in the important things. Open hearts that truly receive Gods gifts. Can we put aside our excuses and come to the table of blessing? Of Course we can! We have so many more resources at our fingertips. My generation, its time we take hold of all the potential in our lives! Its time to eat with silver spoons instead of the plastic ones bought at dollarama. Jesus has called many to take their places at His table; many are enjoying the banquet already. The rejected, the poor, the crippled and sick are blessed to be called to that table. Our country has become the broken and poor in spirit and I believed we are being called again. I have seen the countries that we ignore rise up to the table. However His table is ever increasing and He will make room if you and I truly open our hearts to serve Him.
Blessing to you brothers and sisters!
Your brother and friend