It was always a cringeworthy moment in the sixth grade classroom when someone would arrive with “birthday invitations.” 

Different children handled it different ways. Some were quite gracious and considerate of others’ feelings. But there were always a few that saw birthday invitation time as a way to “stake claim” on their stance amongst their peers. “Who” got the invitation was just as important as “who did not.” 

Watching that transpire was always absolutely cringeworthy. Certainly the children who did not get the invite knew they were being excluded. Heads hung low, they’d dally so they could be at the back of the line to go to lunch. It was apparent their self-esteem took a hit when they were not included in the chosen invites. 

Eventually a rule was made to limit invitation time to before/after school so that the “platform” could be nullified. But not before we watched the hurt cross several children’s faces as they realized they, for whatever reason, did not make “the” list. 

We all want to make “some” list. Whether it is professionally, relationally, personally  . . . 

There is often a status that we want to achieve. 

“O Come All Ye Faithful,” a popular Christmas carol, could at first glance send a message that we are not all invited. That the invite is extended ONLY to the faithful. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate bummer? That if we screwed up, we would “miss the invite?” 

The carol was written with the shepherds in mind. They were just hanging out, doing their jobs, minding their own business when all of a sudden, angels (messengers from God) rocked their world. The angels extended the ultimate invitation . . . “Come, see! Today – the greatest gift of all is born! A gift that is going to bring joy to the downtrodden. Hope to the hopeless. Light in the darkness. And peace for all humanity. Come – – – see!” And they did. They were faithful in following the call. That same invitation is extended to us today! 

What can you do today to best hear the invitation that is before you this Advent season? The invitation to prepare your heart, mind, and soul to come to the manger on Christmas and experience the life-gift that it offers and represents. 

O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant

O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem, Come and behold Him

Born the King of Angels!

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.