Updated: Mar 2, 2019
I love to receive an invitation, to see my name written on the envelope, to feel the soft parchment, the indentation of the sweet calligraphy. As I pull out the sweet hand-written note, I experience great joy recognizing the love in which it was written. Weddings, parties, even just an invitation for coffee, there is just something about the feeling of inclusion.
Do you too experience the bubbling excitement of being invited to something special?
Do you yearn to see and hear the words, “You are invited?”
Well, I would like to share an invitation with you, a special invitation, the greatest invitation you will ever receive. My hope is that you too will feel the bubbling excitement of being invited to something very special.
Over 2000+ years ago a very special invitation took place. Luke 2 shares that, “There were shepherds keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.”
Not quite the response I would expect to be directed toward the messenger of this invitation, but in the shepherd’s defense I can only imagine the element of surprise was great, not to mention the sheer magnificence of the angel’s presence must have been quite amazing.
As we return to our story we read that the angel tells the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
The Shepherds while afraid and amazed, were encouraged by the angel as he shared with them the consummation of the prophecy made years before.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host (angels) appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Do you ever wonder why God chose to announce his gift to the world to a group of shepherds? What must the shepherds have thought as they saw heaven open up and a perpetual worship service take place right in front of them? The “great joy” that the angel spoke of, was this truly part of a greater invitation for us all?
When I consider the beauty of that night, the crisp cold air, the soft “meh” of the sheep surrounding them, the joy heard in the beautiful sounds shared by the chorus of angels, the bright twinkling of stars as they hurried to Bethlehem and then the baby, lying in a manger . . . Oh my, I can only imagine this to be a night they would never forget, the bubbling of excitement unlike anything they had ever felt. They were invited to witness the greatest moment in modern history!
We too have been given an invitation, the great joy referred to by the angel is referenced in Isaiah 55 through an invitation of salvation, the very thing that Jesus came as a babe to provide:
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me; Listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. 4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples. 5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; Call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”
This invitation is for you, see the love in which it has been given. Experience the great joy which culminates through a relationship with our Savior.
Open his invitation written to you and receive his gift, he is including you in His great story . . .
He has his hand open to you even now, will you accept his invitation of salvation?
Dear Jesus, thank You for the faithful love you have poured out on us, for the everlasting covenant you have made for our salvation. Thank you for leaving the comforts of heaven to water the earth and not return without achieving the purpose for which You were sent. Thank You that in this invitation to us, we receive a gift of salvation, to include the blessings of joy, peace and favor as the trees of the field clap their hands, just as the Angels of Heaven gave praise to God at your birth. We lift up those to You who are thirsty that they will seek you, turn to you and that you will have mercy, as Isaiah says, “You will freely pardon.” Allow us all to experience the great awe that the shepherds felt in that moment as we consider this beautiful gift you have given.
All glory and praise we give to You, our Prince of Peace.
In Your Precious Name,
Do you want to know more about this invitation? I would love to share with you - feel free to send me a note in the Contact Me Section on this page.