And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17.
Company’s coming for dinner. I have prepared for six guests, but I don’t know who they will be. I set the table with my mother’s heirloom china and with napkins that matched the burgundy border on the plates. I planned a tasty menu and garnished the lemon dessert with mandarin orange wedges and a sliver of maraschino cherries to resemble butterflies.
Once or twice a year our church social committee plans a surprise guest-and-hostess Sabbath dinner. We have a choice of being guests or hosts. I always sign up as a hostess. I feel that hosts get the biggest surprise–all we know is how many to prepare for. The guests are given an address and, with a bit of ingenuity, they can figure out who their hostess will be.
The social committee mixes and matches the hosts and guests so that we get to fellowship with folks with whom we may not be well acquainted. It is a week of pleasant anticipation, wondering who’s coming to dinner.
A banquet table is being set in heaven. We’re all invited. The choice is ours to accept the free invitation. Unlike our church’s “Company’s Coming for Dinner” event, though, the Host in heaven knows who’s coming, but we, the guests, don’t know who will be there. When the festive day arrives, I can imagine there will be a lot of talking and laughing around the table as we renew acquaintances and meet new friends.
For some unknown reason, one couple notified the social committee that they had to cancel as my Sabbath dinner guests. However, they would be able to come for supper that evening or for dinner the next day. However, this was not an open invitation for guests to come at their convenience. Neither is the feast in heaven being served when it fits into our schedule.
Like the king in the parable of a wedding feast for his son recorded in Matthew 22, I was able to invite another couple who didn’t have other plans for the day.
Let’s accept the invitation today–and every day–to meet around God’s throne and feast on the tree of life and drink from the river of life. Nothing this world has to offer should tempt us to neglect or postpone our commitment to receiving eternal life.
from A Word from Home
Ardis Stenbakken (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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