I like to cook for a lot of people. It’s an inherited trait, I think. My Grandma did it by necessity, having 9 kids. My mom also did it frequently, and it was always a standing joke about how we always had enough supper for an army. Tonight I decided to invite someone over to join our bounty. It wasn’t a tangible invite, really. It was more like a piece of bait, splashed across my facebook page. I told myself that whoever responded with any inkling of desire would get an instant invite. Maybe it sounds silly to you, but it wasn’t to me. It was exciting, cutting up pounds of potatoes, grilling a dozen hotdogs and a dozen hamburgers, baking sixteen rolls, and putting together a huge apple crisp. I kept wondering who was coming over for dinner. Well, five o’clock rolled around, then six o’clock, then seven o’clock. One person bit the bait, but they had other commitments. Another looked longingly at the dangling metaphorical french fry, but since they were about a twenty-hour drive from here, that didn’t work out either.
We ate. Now we’re surrounded by leftovers. You know what? I felt a lot like Jesus must feel like every day. Every day he invites us to partake of His bounty. He has some set aside just for us. Specially made to fit our tastes, our talents, our abilities. His invitations aren’t vague ones, either. This one is very clear: “Come to me all of you who are weary and over burdened, and I will give you rest!” He says. Yet we keep on carrying our burdens alone, cinching up the pack tighter so it doesn’t fall off. We are so often just not brave enough to say to His face, “Are there any of your blessings left for me?” We walk by faith so tentatively, so secretly, so timidly sometimes.
He says something else to us: “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life… My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” If someone tells me “free food”, I usually come running. Jesus is offering better than that. His food is eternal life, and that means life abundant. It’s not life that is just okay, it’s life that’s amazing, full of adventure, and life beyond our wildest imaginings.
Right now I think God is cooking up a great feast for us. He is grinning and waiting for you and me to snag His invitation personally so He can treat you to life abundant.