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Daily Devotion

The Invitations Have Been Sent

By Missey Butler

One Saturday I made a wonderful discovery. I had the whole house to myself. Yep, just me, a cup of joe (coffee), and the hum of the dishwasher. These simple pleasures will do just fine for this working gal.

As I took a sip of hot coffee and began to settle comfortably into the next few moments of solitude, my thoughts began to congregate around a future time of celebration … The Wedding Feast. I had just a few days earlier been reading about the Jewish tradition in its relation to "meal sharing." It had a powerful significance for the Jews. Interesting to me was the discoveries of how very different our own customs in the western world are compared to 2000 years ago. It was customary in Jesus day, when someone extended an invitation to share a meal with you, to break bread as it were, this would signify that they were serious about having relationship with you. It meant a desire for friendship and closeness. This was a ritual that was taken seriously. You did not eat with just anybody.

As I continued to meditate on this, I could not help but think about "The Marriage Supper of the Lamb." I immediately began to envision the most spectacular display of grandeur and elegance ever seen. As I slowly looked around with childlike amazement at the wondrous setting before me, totally spellbound by the splendor of the moment, my attention was drawn toward the most magnificently carved mahogany chair. It was one that had to have been reserved for a dignitary or someone of royalty. I stepped behind it and carefully pulled it back. I lowered my gaze onto the most beautiful place setting of the finest china, trimmed in what I can only describe as liquid diamonds. On each side, perfectly aligned, I saw solid sterling silver flatware polished to a brilliant shine that accentuated the deeply engraved monogrammed initials IAM. There were table linens made of a handsome tapestry and the most elegant stemware which refracted color in every cut of it's design. In the middle of the table, almost unnoticed, sat a perfectly folded rectangular card in which was written the word "expectantly." It sat in the middle of a glistening plate. I felt compelled to reach down and pick it up. I slowly opened it and recognized my name so gracefully inscribed across the parchment.

I was soon overcome with the magnitude of the moment. For the first time in my life I knew what it was to be engulfed by the "fullness" of God's love toward me. The great God of the universe had personally invited me to sup with Him.

Instantly, I recounted a colorful character I had learned about as a child in Sunday school. His name was Zacchaeus. (Luke 19:1-9) He was an unlikely candidate to be the recipient of an invitation by such an honored guest. But that's exactly what happened. While sitting in a sycamore tree, Jesus called out to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste. Come down. For today I must abide at thy house."

Like Zacchaeus must have felt, I marveled that Jesus wanted to spend time with me. The very King of Kings, Lord of Lords, His Royal Majesty Himself, desired to dine with me. Talk about your Cinderella story? He was inviting me, a sinner, who knows only too well that she's been saved by this mystery called "grace."

Accepting His invitation by faith and trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross is all that is needed for my acknowledgement. This "grace" invitation needs no RSVP. The guest list is being prepared and all those who respond will one day hear -

… Come for all things are ready now. (Luke 14:17)

Suddenly, my mind is startled by the deafening silence of the now completed dishwashing cycle. My coffee has turned cold and I halfway expect to hear the clock chime 12 times. I smile to myself when I realize my glass slipper had just arrived, shaped in the words of my favorite author, Max Lucado when he says, "Allow God's grace to do, what only God's grace can do … truly amaze."

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