Have you ever found yourself in a situation and realize that you have no idea what business you have being there? Recently, I had to deal with one of these awkward situations myself while trying to get some flooring in my home repaired. Our home is newer and I had called the flooring company to come take a look at my problem, they were unsure and called the floor manufacturer who in turn called their adhesive manufacturer. Eventually, I found myself standing in my kitchen with the representatives of all these companies talking about things like adhesion levels, temperature stability and application processes. Needless to say, this subject matter is pretty far outside my knowledge base. So, what did I do? I stood there nodding knowingly like any self-respecting homeowner would.
The truth is, I didn’t need to be there. I invited myself into the conversation and they were gracious enough to include me. Yet there was still the slightly awkward tension of knowing I didn’t have a place and really wasn’t needed.
“So, what did I do? I stood there nodding knowingly like any self-respecting homeowner would.”
Listening to Pastor Jenn’s message this past weekend offered an interesting contrast to my moment of awkward participation. She recounted the story of the children brought before Jesus. Children who in every sense, had no reason to be where they were. The awkwardness of the situation was turned up when Jesus’ disciples start calling people out and telling them they have no business there. The part I love though, is when Jesus completely flips the script and tells the little children to come to Him. The place they were offered wasn’t simply tolerance, but rather, it was a place of honor – even sending them off with a personal blessing.
All too often, we read this story as a reminder that Jesus loves kids, but it’s also a story of Jesus’ radical invitation to all of us. Jesus welcomes us as He welcomed the children – completely and fully. We don’t hold a begrudged place at His table. We’re welcomed as we are, no strings attached. Our place isn’t based on what we do or don’t bring. We’re invited to participate with a God who will make sure we feel His love.
“We don’t hold a begrudged place at His table. We’re welcomed as we are, no strings attached.”
There isn’t some formula that lets us know just how accepting Jesus is of us. Jesus offers grace without limits or exceptions. All He asks of us is that we enter into His presence. That is the beauty of our Savior. Limits are not placed on our encounter with Him because He knows we won’t walk away unchanged.
Wherever you are this week, remember – remember that you don’t need to feel shame. Remember you’re not an outsider. Remember you do have a place saved for you before a God that loves you and wants to know you. You aren’t the begrudged participant. You are an honored guest that has been personally invited before the King.
- What is a time you felt you had no business participating?
- Have you ever had those feelings accepting God’s invitation to you?
- Why do you think you sometimes have a hard time accepting the fullness of God’s grace?
- Who do you need to offer radical hospitality to in your life this week?
- What is a way you can demonstrate this radical hospitality?