(Photo by Zelda Dominguez)
An Open Invitation
By Mike Komisky
Jesus said in Matthew 22:8-9, “And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see,’” (NLT).
A few years ago, a friend of mine named Steve had terminal cancer. In the last stages of his life, he encouraged others to come to God’s table. If you’re not familiar with this, check out Matthew 22:1-14. Everyone is invited to come to God’s table and receive Christ. This was my friend’s heartfelt cry. Today, in this time of crisis, this same call is going out from Jesus to all the world, saying “put your trust in me.”
Currently, we all are going through a time never before seen in history. People everywhere are in a state of panic, uncertainty, and desperation. Due to this Coronavirus, life as we know it has come to a standstill. The stress of this situation has turned people into a survival mode. Why has this happened to our nation and countries throughout the world? I truly don’t have all the answers why God has allowed this, but I know someone who does. His name is Jesus Christ. However, this article is not about being judgmental or being insensitive to those who are struggling without jobs, in emotional pain or illness. This article is about finding hope in a world without answers.
Right now, God has the attention of everyone. The things we looked to for security like money, relationships, status even sports and entertainment have proven to be empty idols. These things are not bad in themselves, but they also must not be priorities in our lives. Jesus must be first. In Isaiah 55:6, it says “Seek the Lord while he made be found. Call upon him while he is near.” We must choose which kingdom is more important––God’s kingdom, which is eternal, or this world, which brings only temporary satisfaction.
To those who don’t know Jesus, I am not judging you. It’s OK to be nervous and unsure. Around us, the world is changing daily, upsetting our routines. Many people are in broken marriages, feeling rejection and despair. Some are struggling with insecurity and depression. Others are lonely and feel abandoned.
I have felt all of these at different times in my life. Yet, Jesus can change your hearts. He can bring healing to wounds and scars caused by physical, emotional and sexual abuse. He can deliver you from addiction. He accepts you regardless of appearance, situation, or whatever you have done in your life. You can be forgiven and start a fresh new life. Jesus is the only true hope in this world. Cry out to him and you can be saved (Acts 4:12). He loves you unconditionally.
Secondly, to Christians, I believe this is a golden opportunity to love your neighbors as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). We need to represent Jesus and reach those in dire need of the gospel. The harvest is ripe. What better way than to put our faith into action. To those who are compromised in their walks with Jesus, I say it’s never too late to make it right. You cannot serve both worlds.
Times of trial like now X-ray our hearts and motives. It reveals our weaknesses as well as our strengths. Do we trust Jesus or doubt him? Are we filled with anger toward Jesus? Are we really compassionate towards others? May this be the time we truly ask him to fill us with his love for our wives, children and others. Here is a chance for husbands to really spend quality time with their wives and children. Make this time count. If you need to make amends with someone, call them up or write to them online. It’s time to get real. If you have fallen, get backup. His arms are reaching out to you in love and forgiveness.
Lastly, God has pushed the pause button on our lives. This is a time for reflection. Jesus is moving in a mighty way by his Holy Spirit across our homes, neighborhoods,nation, and ultimately countries. To those who feel alone, you are not abandoned (Hebrews 13:5). To those who are unsure of the future, Jesus promises a hope and a bright future full of purpose. To those who have been spurned and overlooked by society, Jesus says “Come as you are.” You are accepted as his sons and daughters. Personally, I want to thank all the health care workers who are daily sacrificing their lives to help others. May we pray for our president for wisdom and direction. May we pray for those who have lost loved ones due to this virus and those with symptoms for a quick recovery. Soon, we will be celebrating Easter and our risen savior. Recently, I read this sign in a therapist’s office, which said “Please be quiet while in session.” We are all in session. May we listen to God’s voice. See you some day at the wedding table.