invitations have been issued

Remember the definition of advent? – “the arrival of a notable person, thing or event.” Christmas is the remembering and celebrating of a very notable event, the birth of a very notable person, namely Jesus. Christmas is celebrated around the world, across all countries and cultures. You could say Christmas is the biggest party earth throws every year. Like most parties, the celebration includes lots of good food, music, decorations, gifts and the fun of being together with others to celebrate the person and the event.

As Christmas lights go up on homes and stores, in parks, on city streets and in other public places, we began to feel a party atmosphere developing. And then the memories come flooding back – memories of parties past, that we were not invited to attend. Oh, we knew about them, maybe even read about them in the paper or saw them recounted on TV. But we were not on the guest list for any of these parties, maybe we were not even included on the guest list for work parties which were for some employees only or neighbors excluded us or even family did not invite us to a particular event.

Not so with the party that celebrates Christmas. The Father of the Christ Child, God Himself, is the host of the Christmas celebration, commemorating the birth of His Son, and God’s guest list for His Son’s birthday party is all inclusive. No one is excluded from this party. Every single person is invited! God overlooks no one. Psalm 145:9 affirms this saying,

“The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.”

That’s us! God has compassion on us and would never exclude us from the most important party of the universe. The only question is – will we accept or decline God’s invitation to know His Son and to celebrate His birth? The invitations have been issued and each one of us is a favored recipient of God’s generous offer. It is time for you and for me to R.S.V.P. Even though we may be slow to respond to God’s invite, He waits patiently for our answer, holding out hope that we will accept His invitation.

“He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Now coming to repentance may not appear synonymous with coming to a party, but it is the former that allows the latter to be possible. God invites us to come – will we accept? Come! He says –

” ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)

” ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 1:18-20)

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The invitation has been issued and it is for everyone! It is like the angel said to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born –

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ ” (Luke 2:9-12)

Did you catch that, dear readers? “great joy that will be for all the people.” No one is excluded from receiving God’s good gift to all mankind – His Son, Jesus.

the invitations have been issued – the advent of Advent is here – time to R.S.V.P.! God bids us come!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

O Come, let us adore Him!

sincerely, Grace Day

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