Summary: Two-part series that looks at 5 invitations of Christ. An evitation is an online invitation that asks for a response. Christ's evitations ask for a response.
(Play Mr. Rogers CD)
(enter through door to “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” by Mr. Rogers. Had a temporary door set up on stage)
That song takes many people back to Mr. Rogers. He was a welcoming presence on television for 38 years. There was something warm and inviting about him coming through the door taking off his jacket, putting on his sweater and taking off his shoes, all while inviting you to be his neighbor.
There is something special about a door as a place of welcome or unwelcome. There are things that we can do that make our home inviting or uninviting.
At WFA we try our best to have a welcoming door experience.
We have people like ____________ and ___________ opening the doors, a team of people led by ________________________ that greet you, ushers that hand you a bulletin with a smile, ___________ plays host and tries to show our guests around and make them feel at home. Then there’s YOU. The real measure of the warmth of WFA is YOU. Our goal is that even if a guest decides that WFA isn’t for them, they would leave saying that we are a very warm and friendly church and they felt WELCOME.
What are the most welcoming words that you have ever heard when you were a stranger in a place where others weren’t strangers?
“Hello”, “Come in, make yourself at home”, “Welcome”, “Come, sit by me”, “It is so nice to meet you”, others? Invited to join the conversation. Invited to pull up a chair, invited to share food or drink, welcoming. The title of this two-part message.is “You are Evited”. Why Evited? An Evite is an online invitation that you receive, that requires or requests a response. Attending, Not-Attending, Maybe or Not-yet Replied. The Evitations of Christ need a response. Not-responding is responding.
This door represents the door to WFA. The way we live our lives, the words we speak to guests in the church and outside the church, the expressions on our faces all speak messages.
What are some messages that get spoken in many churches?
- A man with long hair walks into a church and through the eyes of a dear saint, hears “NOT WELCOME”
- “NO long hair”
- A woman with short hair walks into a church and through the eyes and whispers around her hears “NOT WELCOME”
- “NO short hair”
- “NO tattoo’s”
- “NO piercings”
- “NO homosexuals”
- “NO democrats”
- “NO republicans”
- “NO smokers”
- “NO drunks”
- “NO druggies”
When those are the messages that get sent, “WELCOME” gets blocked out. Where else would we want homosexuals to go? Or drug addicts or alcoholics?
Can you hear the heart of Jesus in those words? “I WANT MY HOUSE TO BE FULL”! He doesn’t say;
“I WANT MY HOUSE TO BE FULL OF PERFECT PEOPLE”.
“I WANT MY HOUSE TO BE FULL OF RELIGIOUS PEOPLE”.
“I WANT MY HOUSE TO BE FULL OF CLEAN PEOPLE”.
“I WANT MY HOUSE TO BE FULL OF NORMAL PEOPLE”.
You would never hear Jesus say,
“You can’t come in because you have long hair or short hair or no hair or different hair every week like __________.
“You are not welcome because you have the wrong style of clothes”
“You cannot enter because you worship on the wrong day of the week”.
“You cannot enter because you listen to country music” or “Rap”, “Rock” or “Reggae”. Seriously, who listens to Reggae?
His words are Evitational. “Come”
Sometimes invitations come with an ulterior motive. Do you know what I’m talking about?
When I was in Bible College, we were invited to someone’s house we had just met. We had really hit it off, and they invited us to their house for dinner. We were excited to make some new friends so we decided to go. After getting there, we found out we were their targets for a network marketing business.
Have you ever been invited somewhere only to find that there was a catch?
- $100 gift card to Wal-Mart if you listen to a spiel about campground membership.
- Free tix to Disney if you sit through a sales pitch about time shares.
- Free dinner if you attend an insurance or financial planning seminar or fill in the blank.
The invitations of Christ however are pure. He really wants us to “COME to Him”. He wants to spend time with us, with you. He wants us to want to spend time with Him. He knows it’s for our good if we will come to Him.
Listen to Christ’s Evitations. We will cover 3 this week and 2 next week.
1) John 1:39 – “Come and you will see”