We’re Invited! – Week of August 22, 2022

People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
Luke 13:29-30

Silas came to school today bursting with excitement over his upcoming birthday party. Soon, the air was humming with birthday news. Conversations over snack and lunch quickly turned into discussions of who’s invited and who’s not. Imagine everyone’s relief (the teacher’s included!) when the parents clarified that everyone in the class was invited!

In our text for today, Jesus was speaking to a group of people who were also concerned about who would be invited, not to a party, but to the feast of heaven. Jesus’ words about who is invited give us a moment of pause but also assure us of his promise.

Earlier in this section of Luke, someone asked if only a few people would be saved. Jesus helps his audience to understand that the door to heaven is narrow. Jesus is clear in his Word; the way to heaven is found only in him, and the time to think about these spiritual things is now. Jesus also points out that “there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.” Many of the people at Jesus’ time who had countless opportunities to hear him preach rejected him as their Savior. They may have thought themselves first in God’s kingdom because of the things they themselves had done, but Jesus says these who are first will actually be last. Others may have believed for a time and then became last as they fell away. Jesus wanted his hearers to know the urgency of the truth he is sharing. He is the way, and the time to believe in him is now!

But Jesus’ words also assure us of his promise. Though the door to heaven is narrow, through Jesus alone, people from every direction will take their places at the feast. We ourselves get to be part of it! As we were baptized, as we heard the Word, the Holy Spirit worked powerfully in our hearts to convince us that yes, Jesus is the way and with that, welcomed us to a seat at his heavenly table!

This promise is wonderful news for the families we get to reach, too. When Jesus died on the cross, he died for all! We get to be a part of sharing the good news about the way to heaven with the children and families we serve.

Birthday invitations in preschool can bring excitement and some nervousness as little ones figure out who gets to come. What a blessing that God allows us to hand out invitations to all to know Jesus as the Way!

Lord, you know how many people in our world today don’t know about or have misconceptions about heaven. Help us to be clear about the one way to heaven, through you alone, and help us to be bold in sharing your invitation of grace with all we meet. In your name we pray this, amen.

A Thought to Consider:
Think of one family you serve or friend you know with whom you’d like to share God’s invitation of grace. Brainstorm with a coworker or pastor how you might go about that work.

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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