"Come" - The Divine Invitation - Rev. Marie Mitchell
If there is something that I loved about Jesus is that he was always inviting people…and us…to ‘come’, to ‘come and see’, to ‘come and be in relationship with him’, ‘come and receive a new and better life’ in him.
It was Jesus who offered a personal invitation to Zacchaeus, the hated tax collector, to “come down, for I’m coming to your house today.” Zacchaeus left that encounter transformed and brimming with new life. Jesus invites the tired, the weary, the wounded to “come to me all you who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” And, I was more than happy that I heard the divine invitation to “Come” and claim salvation and abundant life with our Lord some 33 years ago through a sermon entitled “What’s Love Got to do With It.” I was lost, empty, in need of spiritual food. I found life in Jesus and in John 3:16 that spoke of how much God loved us that he gave God’s Son to die for us. My heart came alive! But, I’m glad that joining church is not the end of our story as disciples.
Jesus told his disciples to “Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.” He offers those who follow him the power to carry on his ministry in the world. That’s us!!! We are to go ‘fishing’ and invite others to ‘come’.
What a savior! He has entrusted us with a mission to make disciples, to teach them and to engage in a ministry of love and grace as we share and exemplify the good news to all peoples. I’ve heard it said that Evangelism is simply “one beggar telling another beggar where to go for bread.” When was the last time you invited someone to come to church, to join you at the Choir Concert, or at the Bible Study or Ministry Fellowship? There is no need for us to execute a hard sell when it comes to inviting others to church. We simply need to share with them the joy we find in our relationship with Jesus Christ. We don’t have to ‘preach’ a sermon or quote 10 passages of scripture. Jesus did not call us to a ‘religion’, full of ‘dos and donts’, but into a life-changing relationship with him. After I gave my life to Christ and was baptized, I vowed that I would do all I could, by his grace, to share and be the good news for others. There is something about the “overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love” of God that transforms us! I’m truly a witness!
Again, when was the last time you invited someone to “Come” and shared your story, your testimony and even proclaimed, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” We have been commanded to “Go” and invite others to “Come.”
This world is in need of “hope bearers” who carry the light of Christ. Let us be excited about this church and its ministries and the vision we have been given to impact lives. Someone out there needs some “bread”.