Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt.11:28)
On one occasion, someone wrote to Emily Post, perhaps one of the world’s most well-known and renowned experts on the subject of etiquette. The inquirer posed this question: If one were to receive an invitation to the White House, but had a previous engagement, what would be the procedure for handling such? Mrs. Post replied, “An invitation to the White House automatically cancels all other engagements.” Can you imagine receiving an invitation to attend some function at the White House? I think most of us, political affiliation notwithstanding, would consider it one of the highest honors of our lives to receive such an invitation! I would suspect that we would do everything we could to clear our calendars and readjust our schedules in order to accept this invitation. Mrs. Post was probably taken aback that anyone would consider a prior engagement to be more important than an invitation from the White House! An invitation to the White House pales in comparison to the invitation we have received from the Lord Jesus Christ. The Creator of all that we see and all that we are, the Giver of our souls, the Sustainer of our lives, the Sacrifice for our sins, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Hope of life beyond this life, and the Judge of all the earth has bid us to his banqueting table! Who could ever envision a prior engagement to be more pressing than this invitation??? Yet, there are those who will make all sorts of excuses as to why they cannot come. “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet’” (Luke 14:16-24). The invitation of Jesus demands immediate attention. It demands that we make time for the great banquet that he has prepared for all who will come. There is nothing in this world that is more important or more urgent than answering the invitation of heaven! Yet, countless souls consider this invitation insignificant. The pursuit of money and other material things has so enamored the souls of many that they are willing to turn down an invitation to sit at the table of Jesus! Others may consider the invitation important, but not important enough to act on it immediately. Some seem to look upon the invitation of Jesus as though they are waiting on something better to come along, and so they wait. Some seem to think that this invitation can be answered at any time, that the banquet will always be prepared and that they can go at any time. There will come a time when the window of opportunity for this great feast prepared by the Lord will close. This does not simply mean missing out on the opportunity to sit at the table of Jesus; it means spending all eternity separated from the one who has bidden us to come feast with him eternally! Your invitation has been sent. No one can accept or reject it for you. I plead with you to answer this invitation immediately, for you may not have another opportunity!
“Father, thank you for the invitation to sit at your table, to fellowship you, and to dwell with you eternally. Help us to realize the magnitude of this invitation and to accept it without hesitation. We long to commune with you, with our Lord, and with the Holy Spirit so that we may praise you forevermore. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”