Open the Door
In the parable of the big dinner from which this year’s verse, “there is still room,” is taken from (Luke 14:22), the host sends his servant out with an invitation a total of three times. The first invitees believe that their personal business is too important to put on hold for his dinner, and they refuse to come. Their lame excuses are taken personally, angering the host. The second group, those who were despised and outcast, respond and enter in. Finally, upon hearing that “there is still room,” the host sends the servant even further, acting on his desire to fill up his house. By the end of the parable, there doesn’t seem to be anyone within walking distance of the host’s home that he hasn’t invited. He has flung open the door—the door of “welcome.”
Pause and reflect for a moment. Can you recall a time in your life when you felt wholeheartedly welcomed? When someone stopped what they were doing the moment you arrived and moved toward you to greet you, to talk with you, to spend time with you? How did it feel when you were invited into a place or into a conversation?
It’s close to unfathomable, but the Lord has the capacity to give personal attention to every person who has ever lived. Our God has thrown open the door of welcome and has extended an invitation to a relationship based on the finished work of Jesus Christ. There is no one that He hasn’t invited; God has the capacity to include everyone who responds. God is not limited to a physical space in a house; He earnestly desires fellowship with every person He has created.
We see God’s heart when the perspective reverses and the Lord is on the outside of the door asking to come in: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). God is both knocking and using His voice to get our attention. This demonstrates His eagerness to enter and fellowship with anyone and everyone who will open the door.
We manifest God’s heart when we are welcoming like Him. We display a piece of His character when we open the door for others, connect, and build relationships for Kingdom impact.
But what if you, like me, have blown it? What if you’ve lived somewhere a long time and haven’t been very welcoming? What if you’ve been too busy doing things at church to open your door to unbelieving neighbors? What if you’ve even become enemies with some of the people around you? Do not despair. Instead, repent!
I’m not sure where it originated, but I’ve adopted the phrase “it’s not what you do, it’s what you do next.” Be honest with people, admit to falling short, and demonstrate the sincerity of your desire to do better by issuing one invitation this month. There is still time, and there is still room. Open the door!