Last Sunday, I preached on the Beatitudes and how they are an invitation into a deeper relationship with Jesus for anyone who would follow after him. Whether you feel empty or full, whether you are joyful or mourning, whether you are struggling or succeeding, you are invited. You are invited because you are a child of God. That truth means there is a place for you at the table, a place for you in the presence of Jesus, and a place for you in the community of faith. You have inherent worth because you are God’s own…even when you may not feel like it.
You are invited, and because you are God’s own, you have gifts, talents, skills, and abilities to share in God’s Kingdom. We see this truth in the Gospels when Jesus calls his disciples. Jesus invites the unlikely, the outcast, and the reviled, to come and fish for people. These disciples didn’t have their lives together, had no particular expertise in preaching, teaching, pastoral care, or communicating, and didn’t even have a plan. Still, Jesus had a place and a purpose for them in his Kingdom and his work.
Friends, this is true for you and me as well.
Jesus has a place and a purpose for us in his Kingdom and work. I remember when I first realized this. I was a student at Georgia Southern, a part of the Wesley Foundation, and Jay Tucker, my campus minister, asked me to share my testimony with youth at a local church. I didn’t feel particularly called at that time, and I didn’t feel particularly gifted, but the invitation to share my story opened up a whole new world of possibility for me. I’m not sure anyone’s life was transformed because of what I said, but I know my heart was. And who knows, maybe a student that weekend felt like their story was a little like mine and that opened the door for them to feel invited into Jesus’ presence, invited to the table, and invited to share.
Your invitation into a relationship with Jesus is an invitation to come and share…more than that, to be salt and light, a transforming presence in the world. So, this week, may you not only find your place in Jesus’ presence but also recognize your purpose and begin living a life that brings transformation to the world.
Let’s be the change this week by being disciples of Jesus Christ, who transform the world.
For Jesus. For People. For Community.