December 14, 2010
Dressed for a Party
"Then the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.'" Revelation 19:9 (NIV)
For many, this time of year means party invitations populating our mailboxes - office parties, holiday parties, school parties or family gatherings. And every once in a while, an invitation to a Christmastime wedding. Each of them urge us to RSVP and save the date.
In Jesus' day, a person throwing a soiree sent servants door-to-door to issue invitations to the guests, and gather their responses. There were no card companies or postal carriers. The invitations noted the day of the gathering but not the hour. The hour depended on when everything was ready. Plus, there were no cock towers or Timex watches either.
Once everything was ready on party day, servants went out again to call the guests to the feast. Those who had said they'd come were expected to be dressed and ready, waiting for the call. When the servant knocked on their door, they were to head for the banquet.
This scenario mirrors what happens in the spiritual realm. God sent His Son and servant Jesus to issue an invitation on the cross. As I share in my book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know, "God's own hand addressed this invitation some two thousand years ago, at the desk of the cross, on the parchment of Christ's body, in the ink of His blood."
Those who accept, who "RSVP to God," are born anew spiritually—then expected and empowered to live in such a way that they are ready for the day Jesus will return, calling us to a heavenly banqueting table.
Though we don't know the day or the hour, we will be ushered to a great wedding feast: the marriage banquet for Jesus and His bride. Jesus' bride is the church - you, me and all who respond to His invitation throughout the ages.
But here's the thing, will we be dressed and ready for our groom at party time? Jesus once told this story:
"A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When all was ready, he sent his servant around to notify the guests that it was time for them to come. But they all began making excuses. One said he had just bought a field and wanted to inspect it, so he asked to be excused. Another said he had just bought five pair of oxen and wanted to try them out. Another had just been married, so he said he couldn't come." (Luke 14:16-20)
It upset the master that his planned guests were too busy with work, new purchases and their relationships to come to His lovingly prepared feast. So he invited others to attend the banquet.
This story makes me sad - sad for the master, but even more so for the distracted party guests. Sidetracked by the ordinary, they missed something special.
I don't want that to be me - or you - this month. With the coming holiday in celebration of the birth of our heavenly groom, I don't want to miss what is special and sacred about this time of year because I'm busy or distracted.
So will you join me in saving the date of December 25th and preparing your heart for its approach? Because savvy sisters are always dressed and ready for a party!
Dear Lord, thank You for your invitation to life - to spiritual life, eternal life, and life as Your bride. Open my eyes to the sacred today; let me see and celebrate it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Have you RSVPed to Him?
Visit Rachel's blog for some ideas for preparing your heart for Christmas.
This devotion is based on the chapter "Always RSVP: Revealing the Secret to Responding to God" in Rachel's book It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know. Why not order one for yourself and a friend this Christmas?
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Spend a few minutes quieting your mind, closing your eyes, and worshiping the Lord. Praise His holy name. Thank Him for His promises and provision. Express to Him your gratitude and love.
Visit Rachel's blog for a list a ways to prepare your heart for the celebration of Christmas.
What excuses do I make for not being ready - for not meeting with God?
Am I too busy or distracted with the ordinary to see the sacred?
Revelation 19:6-7, "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready." (NIV)
© 2010 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 14 December 2010.