An Invitation to the Party


By The Rev. Dr. Tom Pace
I drove down my street one evening and it was lined with cars. As I drove past a neighbor’s house, I looked through the windows, and there was a great party going on. People were laughing and kids were running around in the front yard. The front door was wide open, and I could hear the music playing. I felt a little twinge inside – “How fun! I want to go! Why wasn’t I invited?”
One image Jesus uses for the Kingdom of God is a party. The father throws a shindig for the prodigal son. There are a number of parables about feasts and banquets. The gospels tell that Jesus went to wedding feasts and dinner parties at the homes of both tax collectors and Pharisees. His biggest concern seemed to be that some would miss the party. Some missed it because they were too self-righteous, like the elder son in story of the prodigals. Some missed the party because they were too busy or had other priorities. (I have married a wife; I have purchased a field). And Jesus was particularly worried that some would miss the party because they thought they weren’t invited. Indeed, he commands his disciples to “go out into the streets and compel people to come in, that my house may be full.” (Luke 14:23)
Why don’t you invite someone to worship with you this season? Bring someone to Christmas Eve worship. The music will be marvelous. The fellowship will be warm. This is a time for parties, for gathering people to celebrate together. Just tell someone “it won’t be the same unless you are there!”
Dr. Tom Pace
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Houston