What kind of invitation are you looking for?
I used to LOVE Christmas party invitations.
Keywords here – “used to.”
It was my first Christmas at Williamson’s Chapel as their associate pastor. Under the guidance of my senior pastor, I attended EVERY. SINGLE. CHRISTMAS. PARTY . . . that an invitation was extended to me.
It sounded like a great idea at first.
I was new on staff . . . one of their pastors. They needed the opportunity to get to know me beyond the worship experience on Sunday morning. What better way than to attend a social gathering and have an opportunity to interact while having fun?
There had to have been a better way.
Little did I know at the beginning of that insane time that there would be, and I am not exaggerating, 12 different parties. All that took place within a time span of 24 days. It was not uncommon that there were sometimes 2 or 3 parties per night. Because of other work commitments, by Christmas Eve I realized I’d spent 3 nights total at home with my family during that month. I was grumpy, exhausted, and had very little Christmas spirit.
I declared I would never, ever do that again. Rather than attending anything that even remotely looked like a party, I began making decisions on what to attend based on what I was looking for at the time.
That’s what happened during the time of Christ.
Jesus was a revolutionary. When he arrived on the scene – he announced a new regime.
Some welcomed him and accepted the invitation to follow him because they thought he would overthrow the oppressive political powers. Others felt as if he would erase oppressions like slavery, poverty, and state violence.
For others it was a more personal reason. They accepted the invitation so that they could combat their own addictions and guilt. So that they would be free of old resentments and old hurts.
Because of the arrival of Christ and his invitation, every old power of darkness and destruction was on notice. God’s light was in the world . . . and was for all to see, experience, and accept/claim for themselves.
The people during the time of Christ had the ultimate “Christmas party invitation.” Not just random parties trying to stake a “claim” but instead . . . an invitation that brought life-changing results.
That invite exists for us today . . . we have to recognize what it is we are lacking, what it is we are looking for, and claim it.