Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
We’ve all been there at one time or another. There’s something happening and you know all about it. Most of your friends are going and you expect to receive an invitation at any moment. You wait and wait for the invite but it never comes. The feelings of hurt and sadness overwhelm you as you begin to question why you were excluded.
For some people, it is the actual inviting that counts. It doesn’t matter to them if they go or not, what’s important is that they were asked to go. It means that someone took the time to ask them to join in their activity. It tells them that they were being thought and that they mattered.
Sometimes we expect no invitations as we know that people do have gatherings and activities that are personal, family-related or for other reasons. However, for those activities, we think we should be invited to, there are expectations. When those expectations aren’t met, we can become resentful towards those who have hurt us.
Not being invited also robs us of a choice to decide whether to accept or decline the invitation. Being robbed of that choice and accepting the fact that we have no choice but to miss out while everybody else attends the gathering or activity, makes us feel unworthy. Missing out when the choice isn’t ours can dent our self-worth in one way or another.
Invariably people will either intentionally or unintentionally not invite us to certain gatherings and activities. The person doing the inviting has the choice of deciding who they want to spend more time with. They are more focussed on those who matter most to them and may not realise that excluding others can become problematic.
Jesus is the only one who doesn’t want to exclude anybody. His invitation is open to everybody, no matter who they are or what they have done. He wants everybody to join in. It is important to Jesus that we are invited because we matter to Him. The problem, he has is not with the giving out of invitations, it is with those who don’t accept.
When we don’t accept his invitation, it is not us who become sad and hurt, it is Jesus. He knows that we are missing out on something great and wonderful. Thankfully, unlike us Jesus doesn’t feel resentment, instead, he will keep sending an invitation until we accept it. He also wants to make sure that we have the choice. There is a wedding banquet waiting for all of us. Jesus doesn’t want any of us to feel that we were never invited and that we never had the choice.
Just like those who do the inviting to activities here on earth we are more focussed on ourselves and we fail to remember that everybody matters to God. We forget about the open invitation He has for all of us and the hurt we are causing him as we ignore the effort He is making to make sure that we are part of His life.
The invitation really does matter to both God and us.
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