The invitation – a new measuring stick


We are familiar with dinner invites.

They are common enough. Most of us get them. We go. We eat and drink, and on the way home we talk about how nice the food was (or wasn’t) and how “blessed” we felt to be spending time with good friends.

Then, we host, sometimes out of a sense of obligation to reciprocate but perhaps we just like spending time with certain people and hosting is one way of connecting. Could there be more to these times? Could there be something so incredibly spiritually groundbreaking sitting right under our noses that we could miss it?

It seemed like any other invite but it was one that I was waiting for. There had been a lot of talk about getting together happening. Finally, the invitation…

“We so want to have you and a few other people over for dinner. We’re gonna do like a Spanish food thing. We would love it if you could come. Oh, what was her name? Tiera? Can you pass on the invite to her, too?”

“Teryn, you mean?”

“Yeh, yeh (chuckling), Teryn. I want her there as well.” So, the date was set.

It looked like any other middle class house from the outside. Once inside we were met with something quite unexpected. Actually, as I walked up the driveway I noticed that the inside of the house looked a little “different” so I was at least ready.

We were greeted by our friend, a lady who manages the local Starbucks’. She lives in this house with her mother, step dad, a sister & her male partner & their baby, and another sister and I think her female partner.

The walls were painted with bright colours of blue, purple and pink, although it was hard to tell. There was barely a square inch of wall space visible. There were paintings, wall hangings, pictures, charms, amulets, bronze works, murals, beads, and crystals. I hadn’t seen so many pictures of Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses in one space in my life. They even had a picture shrine of the Dalai Lama on their fireplace mantle. You would think they were real Hindus or Buddhists. Not so, only seekers.

We dined that night with around twenty people. The food and drink were great. The people served & doted on us.

There was an obvious spiritual tension that we as Jesus people felt quite strongly. Most of the people in the room were aware that we were Jesus followers. Yet we were together. We shared food and drink. We laughed & feasted together. With a common bond of friendship strengthened through invitation and feasting we became aware that something sacred had taken place.

We are learning to take the commission of Jesus seriously, more seriously than ever before.

If we believe that God is actively at work in the world and we are to join Him in that work then, naturally, we can assume that we really are to be more than simply “outwardly focused.” So, we hunt for where God is at work. Who does He have His hand on now? What part is He calling me to play in this person’s life?

We are learning that those questions can’t really be answered unless we are actively embedding ourselves in dark places and building loving, authentic relationships with people who are held captive by chains of darkness. We can’t simply call to them from the pews. We must actively engage by participating with Jesus to see chains broken and darkness pushed back.

We can’t throw them flashlights. Profane places must be redeemed and become places where God, His people, and the pre-Christian can merge. These sacred spaces are where people will meet God. We begin to impact our neighbours, neighbourhoods, places of work, cities, and nations when we become active in every sphere of life and not shrink back from darkness.

This invitation was seen as being more than simply a friendly gesture. Rather, it has become a measuring stick. We are no longer the only ones doing the inviting. A level of trust and equity has formed. Jesus people are living life among the ruins. We are stepping into dark places and living in those spaces previously considered profane. God is the Redeemer!

He is that big! We are learning to broaden our concept of God’s activity in the world. He is in dark places seeking to redeem dark things and people. That has been His plan all along!

Daniel Snell
Nelson, B.C.

~ by blueporch on October 14, 2011.

One Response to “The invitation – a new measuring stick”

  1. These people were there to teach you in your journey I suspect. In Christ journey no one is less than us and He has given each person something to teach us. Bless theses people for their humbleness in sharing with you.

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