A few weeks before the holidays, I was debating what to do about Christmas dinner, seeing how our older girls were in the states and couldn't come home to be with us, but I still felt I should do something to make it special for Leanna and Rebekah. I really didn't feel like cooking a big dinner, but why let the girls down? So I made preparations, inviting two families and a single man from our church. They all accepted the invitation, so we made preparations for our Christmas dinner.
On Christmas day, the phone rang about two hours before the guests were going to come. It was one of the couples, explaining that they wouldn't be able to come because they felt like they should attend another gathering they were invited to. OK, I thought, well at least the others will be coming, so I told Rebekah to take 3 plates off the table.
Soon it was time for the other guests to arrive. But nothing happened. We waited, tried to call several times, but no one answered their cell phones. Finally we decided it was just going to be us, and went ahead and enjoyed the meal. None of the invited guests made an attempt to even excuse themselves. Was it a disappointment? Of course, we were all a little let down after having gone to so much work to get ready.
This reminded me of the time in Luke 14:16 when a certain man made a great supper and bade many. When it was time to eat, he sent his servant out telling them it was time to come, but they all began to make excuse.
On the other hand, Doug decided to have a dinner this past Saturday at our church for anyone who wanted to come. The men of the church went out into the streets and invited the poor, the homeless, and outcasts of the city. Probably the ones we wouldn't ordinarily invite into our homes for a Christmas dinner.
Honestly, I was afraid that no one was going to come. Much to my surprise, when we arrived at the church to set up, there were some people waiting outside the gate. I thought to myself, there must be something else going on here today on the other side of the building. I sat in the car while Doug and the girls carried in all the things and began to set up.
I couldn't believe my eyes when the entire room was filled! Almost every seat was taken, and the dinner was a huge success. Afterward, a man in our church, Pedro, who cooked the entire meal, gave a short salvation message. Rebekah also played the piano providing the background dinner music. I found myself saying "We should do this more often."