You are invited to the party.
Your name is on the list.
“Come unto me” – Matthew 11:28
Nothing you have ever done or might ever do can retract the invitation. It is written in the palm of the hand of Jesus, in the Lamb’s book of life, etched with the blood of Jesus, the one who is called the Passover Lamb and the Good Shepherd.
Christmas is the invitation. It is the grand story that reaches into all human thought and imagination. A hazardous journey, a baby born healthy against all odds, a sky emblazoned with angels, simple shepherds and philosophers alike worshipping. Visits from heaven’s messengers, a midnight run to Egypt, a lost boy in Jerusalem, a voice from heaven over the man dipped in the River Jordan. A rag-tag group of followers, the forgiven and the healed, conflict with positional leadership. Multitudes calling for a healer, a leader, a hero. Multitudes shaking fists and an innocent man dying. All along the way his life spoke the word: Come!
And then the divine collided with humanity and the baby born against all odds in a cold, harsh stable became the man, crucified by the harsh Roman regime, not bound by death like every other man. Here was the empty tomb and the stone rolled away. Here was the resurrected Savior, speaking gentle words to Mary and sharing breakfast with confounded travelers.
And it is in that divine collision that we hear again the invitation: Come. Come and see the One and Only who defeated death. Come and receive the free gift of salvation. In the name Jesus, we receive life, love, forgiveness, freedom, peace, joy.
Come and see. Come and receive every good and perfect gift that comes through the name, Jesus.
The story of Christmas indeed holds plenty of drama and good story-telling. A story alone isn’t compelling enough to build a religion around. The compelling factor is what we see when others who have responded to the invitation, “Come”, and now walk in freedom and peace, loving and spirit-filled and changed! It is the stories of the lives, millions upon millions of us, who have been redeemed and irreversibly changed by the First Story of Christmas.
(Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, December 16) The cry of the Christian religion is the gentle word, “Come”. The Jewish law harshly said, “go, take head unto thy steps as to the path in which thou shalt walk. Break the commandments, and thou shalt perish; keep them, and thou shalt live.” The law was a dispensation of terror, which drove men before it as with a scourge; the gospel draws with bands of love. Jesus is the good Shepherd going before His sheep, bidding them follow Him, and ever leading the onwards with the sweet word, “Come”. The law repels, the gospel attracts. The law shows the distance which there is between God and man; the gospel bridges that awful chasm, and brings the sinner across it.
From the first moment of your spiritual life until you are ushered into glory, the language of Christ to you will be, “Come, come unto me”.
As a mother puts out her finger to her little child and woos it to walk by saying, “Come”, even so does Jesus. He will always be ahead of you, bidding you follow Him as the soldier follows his captain. He will always go before you to pave your way, and clear your path, and you shall hear His animating voice calling you after Him all through life; while in the solemn hour of death, His sweet words with which He shall usher you into the heavenly world shall be– “Come, ye blessed of my Father”.
And further, this is not only Christ’s cry to you, but, if you be a believer, this is your cry to Christ, “Come! Come!”. You will be longing for his second advent; you will be saying, “Come quickly, even so come Lord Jesus”. You will be panting for nearer and closer communion with Him. As His voice to you is “Come”, your response to Him will be, “Come Lord, abide with me. Come, and occupy alone the throne of my heart; reign there without a rival, and consecrate me entirely to Thy service”.