I like mail. In fact, I like it so much there is a standing house rule that no one else is to open the mail but me. (Clearly, I have no control issues whatsoever...but that's learnin' for another day). I enjoy the satisfaction I receive from tossing a catalogue with the restraint of not ordering a thing. I take pleasure in sorting the mail into stacks, checking our financial situation and reading correspondence from friends. The premier piece of mail, though, is an invitation. An invitation is a promise, an anticipation, even an acceptance and belonging. When we invite someone to an event, we are inviting them to share our joy, our triumphs and even our everyday lives. The true location we are asking them to attend is our hearts.
The scripture for today is John 1:29-51. The section recounts testimony by John the Baptist concerning Jesus and then describes interactions between Jesus and four of his early followers - Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael.
- First on the scene is Andrew (Verses 37-40). Andrew was initially a disciple of John the Baptist (Verse 35), but when he heard John declare Jesus the "Lamb of God", he eagerly sought additional teaching from Jesus. After spending the the day with Jesus, Verse 41 tells us the first thing he did was to find his brother Simon (aka Peter) and bring him to Jesus. Simon makes the sound decision to follow Christ (Verse 42) and Jesus dubs him Peter.
- The next act involves Jesus finding Philip and inviting him to join them as well (Verse 43). Philip turns right around and he finds a friend, Nathanael, and asks him to come see Jesus (Verses 45-46).
I really don't remember what the first thing was I did after deciding to follow Christ on New Year's Eve 1990, but I'm certain it wasn't inviting friends to follow Him too. Then I fast-forward to today and realize that there are hundreds of things I do each day that can be an invitation of sorts. Do my words entice those around me to Jesus or drive them back? Do my facial expressions woo people toward Jesus or repel them away? Do my attitudes entreat or cause a retreat?
Today, Jesus, let me be Your invitation to Your people to a place of promise, acceptance, belonging and joy - Your Heart.