Have you ever been disappointed because you weren’t invited to something?

I don’t know about you but I’ve definitely felt moments where I felt I was being left out because I didn’t receive an invitation.

What if you could offer someone an invitation to the greatest thing they will experience? You wouldn’t have to leave anyone off the list because there was a limitless number of invites. Who would be on your invitation list? I know I’d have all my closest friends and family at the top of the list.

A few years ago, a coworker and friend kept inviting me to an event. Over and over, she’d ask me to just come once and see what it’s like. She’d share notes from the week before, talk it over, and then leave it in my hands to accept her invitation. I declined for a long time before finally coming. I attended one Christmas play at LifePoint. It took me a year to return but I came back. And then I continued to come every Sunday with her.

I know it’s discouraging to hear no every time you invite someone, but what if the next invite will be a yes? I often wonder if she ever felt discouraged as I said no all those times. Her discouragement never came across to me as she showed patience and persistence, likely praying I’d accept one day.

As I sit here in the auditorium, I’m looking at the steps of the stage, where name after name has been written. It’s humbling to see the names of so many people who are being prayed for, that they may have a relationship with the Savior.

Let me just give you a couple…. Brian, Kristine, Frankie, Hazel, Terry, Susan, John, Ted, Gabe, Sharon…..I could go on and on. There must be a few hundred names here.

I’m praying for each of these people to come to know God. But I’m also praying for each person who wrote a name up here. Behind each of the names is one of you, someone who has faith that this person that they are giving to God can be saved. It takes strength and courage to invite a friend or family member, especially if they’ve talked negatively about God. It takes patience to invite that friend or family member after they’ve turned you down over and over. But it takes real love to not give up, knowing that you could be offering them the key to the kingdom of God.

This Christmas we hold an invitation to the celebration of our Savior’s birth. It’s an invitation to meet with our King, the true Savior of the world, and the only one who can save each of us.

I’m praying for strength, courage, patience, and love for you as you invite those you love to come and know the King.

Who will you invite to come and see the King? Email back with the names of those you are inviting and I will be praying that they accept your invitation to come to church and further, accept the invitation that God offers to each of us through Jesus.

Merry Christmas!