You may have heard the story last month about an Australian schoolgirl who got a little overzealous about inviting her friends to her birthday party. Wanting to make sure her classmates knew about the party, she created an “event” on Facebook and invited everyone she knew. She also asked them to get the word out and to bring their friends. She even posted her home address in the invitation.
Her post went viral, and within 24 hours more than 20,000 people said they were coming. Then the number surged to 200,000! The party had to be cancelled, and her parents even had police stationed in the neighborhood the day of the supposed party for crowd control purposes. The girl’s father also cancelled her Facebook account.
All of us have done foolish things like that, I’m sure, most of us before we had something like Facebook to magnify our mistakes. But in her defense, the young girl really had no idea what she was getting herself into. She was just excited about her party and wanted to invite everyone she could.
I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ parable of the great banquet in Luke 14, and His own instructions about inviting everyone we know to the “party.” He spoke, I believe, about life in His kingdom, and our call as disciples to “go out to the highways and byways and compel them to come in.”
It’s a simple illustration of someone excited enough about an invitation to a very special banquet that they wouldn’t dare think of leaving anyone out, which should be our response to the gospel. When we are reconciled with Christ, His love “compels us” to be His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5) and invite others to know that same reconciliation. How can we who’ve been privileged to eat at His table not invite others to the same party?
That’s really what Christ’s Great Commission is about, extending the invitation we’ve accepted to those who have not yet heard. Whether it goes “viral” or is passed on one excited partier at a time, that’s how God intends to reach our generation, using us as instruments of invitation, spreading the good news of His cross and His kingdom.
How excited are you about the party you’ve been invited to? Enough to pass it on? I hope you will.
I’m praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday, for a great party of celebration of God’s gracioius work in our lives. Invite a friend!