Some of them are for close friends, some fellow church members, most for the people on our street. People we smile and wave to, but don't know all that well. One is for the new kids in town.
The invitations are to celebrate the advent at our house. We have invited six families over for some food and to light an advent wreath. Yeah, that advent wreath. Like the one up at the front of the church.
And I'm nervous. Because these aren't all our best friends. Some of these people don't even know us that well.I don't know how the celebrate Christmas. I don't know if they do Santa and Elf on the Shelf or not. I don't know if they do lights and Christmas trees. I don't know if they celebrate it at their church or if they even go to church. And quite frankly I don't care. Because I can't help but thinking he set us right where we are for a reason.
I envision terrible things. What if we just sit around and stare awkwardly at each other? What if they think we are crazy radical obsessive Jesus people? Worse. What if nobody comes?
It would be so easy to tuck away the invitations that I threw together on PicMonkey and printed out on our own printer, I mean, it's not like I've invested in this.
But I can't.
Because when I sit down and talk to my Creator about Christmas, He shows me what He envisions.
He shows me Baptist, Methodist, Charismatics, and Non-Believers sitting down for a meal together. He shows me a society hungry for real, tangible community and a willingness to celebrate Christmas together. He shows me teenagers taking a night off, sitting by their parents while we talk about how we got here. He shows me big kids reading to little kids while they run in and out of the house and plop down on laps. He shows me that even through all the squirming they don't stop watching.
Watching their parents reach out to other believers to be The Church. Watching The Church reach out to the world to serve the Great Commission. Watching the Bible being lived out loud. He shows me a street lit up with the Joy of Christmas.
One street at at time.
One neighborhood at a time.
One City at time.
One State at a time.
One Country at a time.
So my shaking hands are giving away my desperate need to please people. But the invitations in my hand give away an even stronger desperation to please my God.
I want you to participate.
Not for my sake. I can't promise it will turn out well for you. Heck! I can't even promise that it will turn out well for me. But I am asking you to seek the Lord on this one. To seek His heart.
His heart for unity.
His heart for the lost.
His heart for peace.
Can you open your home once a week this Christmas? Will you open your home once a week this Christmas?
I'm not talking about your regular small group or your church group. I'm talking about the actual people that God set you in the midst of. Can you do that?
Can you light the advent candles? Can you talk about Jesus?
I'm not talking Pinterest perfect or a fancy wreath. I'm not talking as many people as you can get. I'm talking 4-6 families. Can you do small and simple?
Will you do that? Will you pray about it? Will you seek His heart? Will you consider it?
And if you decide to will you share this? Will you invite someone else to do it? Can we really be a city set on a hill?
I believe we can. I believe God can.