Doesn’t it feel good to be invited to something? I am not sure I could fully articulate why, but there seems to be something inside each human being that desires to feel a sense of belonging. Even if it is an event or dinner party we would never attend, it is still nice to receive an invite.
We don’t always think that same way about sending the invites out. We have more of a selection by our preference frame of mind.
Remember when you were a kid and your mom forced you to invite all the kids to your birthday party? Of course, you were okay with inviting most of the kids, just not the one who is uber snobby and treats you like a second rate person. Your mom would site something about treating others like you want to be treated. But in your mind not inviting them was treating them the same as they treated you.
Those ideas are not isolated to childhood. Adults can think the same way about coworkers, hoping anyone but that one person draws your name for the Christmas gift exchange. When you see the annoying neighbor who constantly complains about your kids notices you just got home, you duck into your garage, hop out of the car, and hit the automatic close button with NASCAR pit crew speed, hoping to avoid them.
As I write this, we are a few days away from Easter. Today would be the day that Jesus gathered with His crew for a final dinner party. He’d introduce communion, recline and laugh, and enjoy the final moments before He engaged in the most selfless act in the history humanity.
What would be a self-indulgent setting for most people, the Savior remained true to character and engaged in a selfless act. He served, He ministered to, He comforted, and He encouraged everyone gathered. Everyone around the table He invited and wanted there – including Judas, the one waiting for the perfect time to betray Him for money.
Think about it. If it was your last dinner party, wouldn’t you be solely focused on finding your own enjoyment? Would you only invite people you loved?
Jesus did love Judas. Jesus does love those who betray you. Jesus does love you and me.
Remember, Jesus washed Judas’ feet too. If that didn’t communicate that Judas mattered to Jesus, I don’t know what would.
My point is this, perhaps one invitaion to someone you wouldn’t normally extended one to, could be the difference maker. An invite is a gesture of inclusion and graciousness. Perhaps being invited will help them to feel like they belong, and that may be just what your neighbor needs. That invite might be the very thing that softens your co-workers heart and changes their tone for the better.
One thing I know for certain, when you extend an inviation to them, your heart will soften. And maybe that is really the point.
So go ahead. Invite someone to join you on Sunday at your church. You will be glad you did.