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When did you last receive an invitation to something special? Let us know in the comments! Here's the latest blog from our Vicar Andy about the most special invitation of all.,.
I wonder when you last received an invitation? Perhaps it was to a wedding, a special birthday party, a meal with friends, or the opportunity to visit an event or special place?
It’s really exciting to receive an invitation.
When we are invited to share special occasions, we are welcomed to embrace the intimate moments of those that we care about.
Jesus loved a good party and was often invited, yet he also offers us an invitation. He offered a personal invitation to Himself. Jesus did not turn crowds and individuals away. Far from being the life and soul of the party, Jesus was interested in those He came into contact with. He met the deepest longings of the human heart and He continues to do that today.
We are invited into a relationship with God, but it is up to us to accept the invitation.
The invitation reminds us this is not second hand faith but an opportunity to come and see Jesus for ourselves
When something out of the ordinary grabs our attention, we have to know more, don’t we? If we see a crowd of people gathering around something, we want to know what’s going on. If we are slowly making our way through traffic and we are getting nearer to an incident, we crane our necks to try and get a clearer look.
The invitation is to spend time with Him
With social media, it is possible to have thousands of friends and followers. But when was the last time we invested ourselves into each and every one of them? The answer to this is we can’t. We only have 24 hours in a day and have lots to do in that time. But when it comes to those we love and care for, we make the time. We do what we can do change our schedules to prioritize our friends.
The invitation is to be shared
The first thing that Andrew (one of the disciples) did was find his brother to tell him that they had found the Messiah. It’s wonderful that this was his first response in encountering Jesus. He chose to tell someone close to him. Like any news that we receive, we look to tell those who are closest to us first. We want them to celebrate with us or come alongside us through our trials.
Why are we so often reluctant to invite friends to church? Michael Harvey, in his book ‘Unlocking the Growth' discovered these reasons why many of us struggled to share the invitation…
I don’t want my friend to suffer
My friend said no last year
We have no non-churchgoing friends
It’s the church leader’s job
I was never invited
What if it damages my friendship?
Our services are unpredictable
I fear the congregation will think my friend is not ‘our’ type
I am reticent
Religion is a private matter
I don’t want to be seen as strange
They might ask something about my faith
All of these are real of course, however as we are being transformed by His Spirit, the desire to share this life-altering, hope-filled news should be on our hearts and minds, leading us to share our faith time and again.
We sometimes timidly invite family, friends and neighbours to Christmas and Easter services events in the hope that they might catch a glimpse of Jesus. But why wait until then?
This Sunday September 11th is our ‘Invitation – Back to church Sunday!’
Why not prayerfully invite a friend, a neighbour, a spouse?
I can promise you and them a warm welcome, heartfelt worship, a clear message and the opportunity to fully know this Jesus who invites all of us to the best event ever!
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