Ever Changing Guest List: Come & Dine

A little overwhelmed and stressed. It happens to me. Sometimes more often than others.

And do you know what kind of things usually push me over the edge?

It’s the little things. Things that don’t matter. Teeny tiny things of little to no consequence that seem to almost push me into a panic attack.

Why? Why do little bitty things have so much control over my mental health?

Because I like to believe that I am in control and those little things prove to me that I am not in control at all. Little things can have great influence over us. Especially when they don’t go the way we want them to.

A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘ I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Luke 14: 16b-21a

The man that prepared this meal was certain. What was he certain of? Well, I believe he was certain those who were invited were going to attend. If not, would he have prepared the food? Cleaned his home? Extended the invitation?

When we prepare a fancy dinner, we expect our invited guests to show up. This man was no different. He had gone through the steps, and was prepared to entertain guests. Now, he just needed guests.

Unfortunately, they all sent excuses.

How many of us have been there?

Ladies, how many of you have hosted a home party and had no one show up? Not only did you clean and prepare snacks, but a product demonstrator is standing in your home with all her wares and your friends all call to cancel at the last minute. It can be incredibly embarrassing. It can hurt our feelings, too. Many times it causes us to become hardened and decide not to invite people over any more.

But this man was certain.

Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.‘ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ’Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ Luke 14:21b-24

Invitations to this dinner party had been issued plenty in advance, but when the guest were sent for, their excuses were lame.

I bought some property and I need to inspect it. I don’t know about you, but I typically inspect investments prior to the purchase.

I bought some oxen and I want to take them for a test drive. Hmmm. I can’t test drive them after dinner or tomorrow. I have to do it right now. Come on, folks. Why don’t you just say what you mean? Playing with my new oxen is more important to me than sharing a meal with you.

I got married. Sorry. Are you kidding me? Your wife doesn’t eat? LOL. This one really makes me laugh. What an excuse. Is this the old version of we have to leave because my wife has a headache? J

This man could have gotten depressed. He could have eaten his supper alone, stored the rest for later, and gone to bed. He could have thrown the meal out to the hogs or the oxen. He could have eaten it all himself. But this man was certain, and he had prepared a feast for his guest.

So, he sent his servant out to find new guests. A different caliber of guests. He didn’t let the fact that his well-laid plans had gone awry rain on his parade. Nope. He just went and found the people that needed the meal he had to offer more than the people he originally intended it for.

Sometimes I have well-laid plans. They’re great plans. There isn’t anything wrong with them. I have planned, prepared, and I am certain. Occasionally those plans go awry though.

Even when I am certain, my plans can go awry. God always has THE plan, though. And sometimes His plan includes a different guest list. Sometimes His plan means mine needs to be repurposed.

I still must clean my house, prepare the meal, and yes, maybe even send out the invitations, but when the guests don’t show I must not close my door and eat alone. No, that is when I must truly seek out the people God has chosen to dine at the table with me.

Come and dine, the Master calleth, come and dine.

[Edit: I should explain that I know the passage I use is a parable for the Messiah inviting us to join Him not an invitation to an actual feast. The truth remains, if a “feast” is prepared it will take place regardless of whether the intended “diners” show up or not. I will continue to invite all to feast at the table, as I do not know whom will accept the invitation. You ARE invited.]


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