I have been massively challenged over the last couple of days. Our church are spending a week out in the local community going round the streets, knocking doors, asking people about church, about faith…about Jesus. I was out last night (with my partner, Mr Sharks). We set off for our area for the night and knocked on the first door with anticipation. With our first row of homes being pensioners bungalows the response wasn’t great…then…the first guy to open the door was a blind man. We chatted briefly, handed him a postcard with some info on it that he said he would get his friend to read to him…then he had to go…his dinner was ready!! Nonetheless, our first contact of the evening was made. We knocked a few more doors with no joy until a door opened and we were greeted by a lady in a wheelchair. She warmly welcomed us to come into the kitchen where we met her husband, also in a wheelchair. We chatted. We very quickly discovered that they were Christians and loved Jesus. They expressed how they believed God had brought us to the home…they shared how they couldn’t get out to do what we were doing but that God had brought us to them! In return they felt they could be a blessing to us as we headed back out. And, my goodness, we were blessed! The husband prayed for us…and God really spoke through him…we were really touched by the whole experience and left the house feeling that we had all the strength and all the power to do whatever God was wanting us to do. We met and talked and talked to many people that evening…it was a privilege. People need to talk about Jesus. They need his followers to speak up. I’m always a fan of trying to build relationships first before talking about Jesus with people…but sometimes people just need to hear – there and then. Right there and then, at first contact.
On this occasion we were built up and thrust into action by an encounter with a blind man first…and then this amazing encounter with a wheelchair bound couple. Got me thinking about the parable below that Jesus taught. Some questions to ponder…What are your excuses if you’re like those in the story?? Who around you is making the excuses?? Or…who is hearing about Jesus from you…?
The Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14): 15When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” 16Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18″But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19″Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20″Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21″The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22″ ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23″Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. 24I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ “