6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: If we are going to be a part of the Bride of Christ and attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb then we must RSVP God’s invitation.


Answering God’s Invitation

Sunday, February 21, 2010

By Pastor James May

RSVP comes from a French term that was first used around 1895–1900. In French it says, “répondez s’il vous plait” which in English simple means, “Please reply, or Please answer”.

Most of us have received invitations to various events that asked for an RSVP. Many times, because of the cost per guest of wedding receptions, an RSVP is very necessary to determine the approximate number of people who will be attending. After all, who wants to pay an extra charge for each person who doesn’t attend? I’ve had friends who paid out hundreds of dollars more than necessary simply because they overestimated the number of people who would be attending their ceremonies.

The problem is that many people refuse to respond to an RSVP. They either show up without warning, not thinking that it matters whether they respond or not, or they don’t understand what an RSVP is in the first place. And of course, there are always some folks who can’t make up their mind until the very last moment before deciding to do anything. They can’t seem to plan more than two hours ahead and are always operating in panic mode. They kind of remind me of the rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland”, always running full speed saying, “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late for a very important date, and most of the time they knew about the date for a long time. Procrastination is the name of the game, or perhaps a failure to think far enough ahead to plan, and it always results in what is called, “the last minute syndrome”.

It seems that their lack of planning always constitutes an emergency situation in which they expect everyone else to respond as though it is their emergency too. This often puts a strain on the host, especially if there are very many guests who don’t answer the RSVP.

My thoughts have always been thus, “Your failure to plan ahead does not constitute an emergency for me, so deal with it yourself.” I hate doing everything the last minute, and if I’m going to be late for an important appointment, whether its church, work or whatever, I would just as soon not go at all.

I know how some of you are – I can see it in your stress level when you walk in the front doors of the church. Perhaps you’re not a morning person and so you wait until 9:45 to start getting ready, knowing that church starts at 10 o’clock and it takes you a minimum of 10 minutes to get here if you drive 10 mph over the speed limit and don’t get caught behind slow pokes on the highway. Then it’s hit the showers, try to find something to wear because you forgot to wash or dry what you wanted to wear. Your shoes are scattered in different rooms for some reason. Why did my hair decide to be so wild this morning of all mornings! Ok, where’s my car keys; and my coat? Oh yeah, I left my coat in the car! And here are my keys, still in the lock on the door. Forgot to take them out last night, and OH NO! I left my car door open and it rained last night. Go get some towels quick so I can put them on the seat and not get all wet.

You finally get in, put the key in the car, try to start it and realize that you forgot to put gas in it on the way home from Wal-mart yesterday and it’s empty. So quick, everybody out of the car and into the other car. Hurry up, we’re already late. So here we go, everybody is having to move in panic mode. Tensions are high. Tempers are flaring. It’s fuss, fuss all the way to church about whose fault it is because we are always late.

Well, mama, if you had dried my clothes I could have been ready sooner. Well, if you hadn’t lost your shoes or your glasses we could have still made it. The husband says to the wife, “Well if you had put gas in the car like I’ve told you to do a thousand times, we could have saved a lot of this commotion of switching cars and been half way there by now.” The wife looks over at him with daggers in her eyes and says, “Well, if you would pick up behind yourself, take care of the car yourself like a man, and help get these kids ready, that might have helped too.” Now that’s the way to get the mind of Christ and get into the right spirit to worship God, right?

Then we finally get to church and all the parking is full so we have to hunt a place to park, walk further than we want to, and then try to get in without anyone noticing how late we are. We walk in with a big smile like nothing is wrong; greet everyone and try to act as though we’ve spent the last hour talking face to face with God, and try to get into the service. Then, 10 minutes into the service we finally realize that we have on two different shoes or that we left the door open on the house with all the lights on and the TV still playing. And where’s little Billy? Oh no – he’s home alone!

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