Come for all things are now ready”  Luke 14:16

“I have bought a piece of ground and I must go and see it…….I have bought five oxen and I am going to test them…..I have married and therefore I can not come”  Luke 14:18-20

“For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper”  Luke 14:24

There has been much work done in preparation.  Food is gathered and prepared, dining utensils and place settings are all arranged, the banquet hall is decorated that dining tables decorated, and the Master of the hall then sends his invitation.  At first He sends the invitations out to those whom he feels are close friends, those whom he loves and expects, love him in return.  The responses start to come in; please excuse me……sorry would love to but………wow, sorry, you’ve caught me at a really bad time, the Master is spurned.  What was it that He wanted?  Was this a potluck, where the guests would have to go out of their way to bring something?  Was this some flashy masquerade ball where they would have to get into some wild costume?  No.  He just wanted to share with them; share His time, His bounty, His good will.  Maybe some other time was their response.  They probably didn’t realize that there was to be no chance for an other time.

Obviously, our Heavenly Father is the Master of the Hall.  The table is set, all the provisions are ready; in this case there is even a guest of honor; His Son Jesus Christ, who is there.  In a very real sense; they would love to see us there.  If we are not careful, we are full of excuses.  I do not have time for you because I have my………fill in the blank; job, hobby, family, trip, this and that.  In essence we are replying, God, sorry, I just don’t have time for you right now.  I’ll get around to it.  Maybe when I know I’m dying, I’ll come to you.  Maybe, when my world is crashing down around me, I’ll decide to make the time for you.  Some will never make the time.

The invitation stands open for you and me.  It reads:  Come as you are.  BYOB:  Bring Your Own Body.  I will supply everything else.  What is on the agenda?  Love, fellowship, peace, joy, blessings.  It is amazing that I would ever find an excuse to turn down an invitation like that.  Oh but wait, I bet this is a fund raising kind of dinner.  I bet the price to get in is really steep!  Relax, our Guest of Honor says, I am Jesus Christ and I have already paid your fee in full.  May it be that we all hear the invitation this very day, and have the wisdom to accept it.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, as was said in the psalms, truly who are we that You would see fit to invite us into Your presence.  Yet through Your immeasurable mercy, You are calling for us today to come in to Your presence and dine with You.  The bounty that You have laid out for us, is beyond our imagination, Dear Father.  We humbly ask, Gracious Lord, that you give us the strength to overcome the enemy who strives to keep us from Your table.  Deliver us, Dear Father, from the worries and cares of this world that block us from coming to You.  We give thanks and praised that, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our savior, You have seen fit to pay the price of admittance that we owe.  That we may, starting today, have eternal fellowship in Love with You we pray.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen