When Did You Last Turn Down an Invitation?

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I do it every year. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, or maybe I just really love the people in my life, but every year I host a Christmas Party.

Christmas PartyThere is a lot involved to prepare for such a shin-dig. Time, effort, resources, money, planning, set-up, clean-up.

I wasn’t going to do a party this year. Know why? Because I was tired of extending the invitation. Each year it’s the same. I draw up a list of those I am going to invite. The list expands and grows as more faces flash before my heart.

I’ve used Evite, Facebook events, and paper invitations. But the results are the same. Each year the invitation leaves my hands with such anticipation at least 2-3 months before the date of the event…

And very few respond.

If everyone had agreed to the invitation, then I would have had 80 people in my home. Instead I’ve had numbers such as 14, 25, and 12.

Those responses can really depress a girl.

So I wasn’t going to do it this year. I did not want to go on the emotional roller-coaster.

invitationAre you familiar with the parable Jesus told about the King and the Wedding Feast? (Matthew 22) A King was going to host a wedding feast for his son. He sent out invitations to all of those on his list.

No one was willing to come.

The King told his messengers to make sure they told all of those who were invited that the dinner was prepared and everything was ready. All they had to do was come.

But those invited paid no attention. They went about their own ways. In fact, some of the people mistreated and killed the messengers who had extended the invitation to them.

The King was enraged and killed those who had hurt his messengers.

Then the King extended the invitation again. Not to those who had already been invited. No, they were no longer worthy of the invitation. But to those of the streets and the highways. Evil and good.

And then the wedding hall was filled.

invitationJesus used this parable to explain the invitation to heaven. Everything is prepared. The only thing required of those people who are invited is to accept God’s invitation and come to Him. God went to the Israelites first and they rejected Him. So then God opened the gates of heaven for the Gentiles as well. {That would be anyone who is not a Jew.}

Can you put yourself in God’s place? What emotions do you think God has when someone He invites pays no attention to Him? Sadness. Frustration. Jealousy. Anger.

I can relate, although my emotions are not as righteous as God’s considering my humanity. As I study the no responses or the negative ones, my heart does sadden. I become frustrated because I have put a lot of effort into this event. All of my insecurities come to mind and I wonder if I’m a horrible person with no friends. God is secure in Who He is, even if I am not. I am jealous of whatever is taking the people away from my presence at my party. I am even angry at times because others “should realize” the sacrifice I have made for them. That’s selfishness on my part, but holy jealousy when God desires to have His children for Himself.

A friend of mine explained to me that Christmas is a bad time to ask people to come to a party because there are possibly 1-2 events planned for each evening in December with which we could give our time.

And she is right. I get that. My calendar is full as well.

WHY is that?

Life is busy. The holidays are busy. Corrie ten Boom said, β€œIf the devil can’t make us bad, he will make us busy.” Isn’t that a great way to help us keep our eyes OFF of Jesus when we’re supposed to be focused UPON Him?

We in the church are terrible about being so focused on church activities, concerts, Sunday School parties, plays, special services and traditions, parades, live Nativities…..when are we supposed to focus on people? Especially those who may not care about such activities?

All I want to do is extend a gift of friendship to those who have blessed me in my life. This party is my way of saying “Thank you,” because a Savior was born so God’s gift could be extended to me.

All God wants to do is extend eternal life to those He made in His image.

And so He continues to invite those who might continually disregard Him.

I wasn’t going to do the Christmas Party this year. Actually, I was going to do it in January. But that strong, small voice of the Holy Spirit told me to go ahead and invite. Go ahead and prepare. Go ahead and know that not many will respond. Go.

I obeyed.

And I have experienced just a taste of what God feels. What a blessing that is.

invitationOver the years, I hope the friends who have come to my annual Christmas parties know how appreciated and loved they are. During the event, I love to talk, laugh and build relationships that sometimes become stalled throughout the year. I want to be in the presence of those with whom I extend the invitation. Each person invited matters.

And this is not a bashing of those who do not come because I love each invited person and I do not know all the reasons for the negative responses. But for those who think they aren’t really wanted, please know that I would not have invited you if I did not want you in my home.

I hope you FFS Readers know how appreciated you are. You invite my emails into your presence and I wish I could invite you all to my home for a Christmas party, but there would be about 1,000 of you, and my husband probably wouldn’t like everyone parking on our grass. **grin!**

God wants you at His eternal party even more than I want my friends at my Christmas party. He extends the invitation constantly. And once we accept His invitation, God then invites us to work with Him. How exciting! But here again, we have to accept the invitation to serve.

We have to obey.

Even if it means doing something crazy like hosting a Christmas Party.

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When Did You Last Turn Down an Invitation? — 3 Comments

  1. Every year, I worry that all 80 people are going to accept our invitations and our party is going to be a hot, over-crowded disaster and I will be running to McDonald’s for more food and somewhere else for chairs.

  2. Your husband is hilarious. I’ve had so many parties go belly up. I am embarrassed for my guest(s) and myself when I invite 25-30 people and only two or three accept and 15 never even respond. It’s disheartening. I am trying to remember how it feels and make sure to RSVP to every invite. Hope God knows I plan to attend His big shindig.

    • He is quite the jokester. πŸ™‚ It is disheartening, and I too attempt to RSVP every invite. If at all possible, I try to attend everything we are invited to.

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