And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, “Come, for everything is now ready.” But they all alike began to make excuses. Luke 14:17-18
Several years ago our Sunday school class decided to gather together one Saturday night each month to play games, eat, and socialize. It seemed there just wasn’t enough time during class to really become acquainted. As my husband, Steve and I were leaving the first get-together, I offered to have it at our home the next month. The date had been selected, and I geared up for having a large gathering at our home. Due to another church event scheduled for the same day, most of our friends in the class would not be attending. However, five other couples signed up. The group decided to keep the date the same, and we were looking forward to hosting a smaller group. We had no idea how small it would be! I spent the week before planning and preparing for a group of twelve adults. By the time Saturday arrived, two couples had already called to cancel due to sickness in their families. No problem! There were still three couples who not only signed up but also offered to bring either an appetizer or dessert. To prepare for the company, we washed the windows and dusted and vacuumed. I made an appetizer and dessert. Excitedly, we worked together as a team. The guests were to arrive by 6:30 p.m. At 6:37 p.m. one husband called to let us know that his parents had surprised his wife with a birthday party that night and wouldn’t be coming. By 7:00 p.m. I knew the other couples were not coming so I pulled out the taco dip I made and served us some. Discouraged, we ate by fire in the fireplace. At the same time, both Steve and I thought our experience that night reminded us of the parable of the banquet in which the man invites so many people, but they have many excuses for not attending his party. Although I was very disappointed in the way the night turned out, this frustration had cause me to contemplate the numerous times God had invited me to spend time with Him, and I had declined because I was too busy, I forgot, or I accepted another invitation instead. It was during this time of melancholy that I began to feel genuine remorse for the times that I not accepted the Father’s invitations for fellowship.
Father, thank you that you desire to spend time with me. Help me accept your gracious invitations. Amen.