Lauren Sassmannshausen put out the call for help on Facebook after none of the 30 invited guests, who had RSVP’d, came to her daughter Taliyah’s 5th birthday party. Once the party began, only a few adults had arrived, which were Taliyah’s aunts and her mother’s friends. “She kept asking me when her friends would be there and I kept saying ‘they’re coming baby,’” said Sassmannshausen. After an hour had passed and no other guests showed up, Sassmannshausen decided to post on the “I heart Spring Hill” Facebook page asking if anyone wanted to come celebrate. ‘It is seriously breaking my heart, we have PLENTY of food and drinks. We don’t care about presents, she just wants friends…We have a huge inflatable water slide and pool for all the kids to play in. PLEASEEEE come have fun!’ Within 10 minutes of posting, people began showing up. By the end of the day, more than 75 guests attended Taliyah’s party. “It just made my heart melt how people who don’t even know us care so much to make her birthday memorable,” said Sassmannshausen.
Can you imagine what the little girl thought? She must have been so hurt. Can you imagine what the mother thought? She had put so much time, expense, and energy into making this a great day for her daughter. I’m sure she was hurt, disappointed, and probably mad.
When I read this story I couldn’t help but remember a similar story Jesus told in the Bible…
“A man was giving a large banquet and invited many. At the time of the banquet, he sent his slave to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’ But without exception they all began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. I ask you to excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m going to try them out. I ask you to excuse me.’ And another said, ‘I just got married, and therefore I’m unable to come.’ So the slave came back and reported these things to his master. Then in anger, the master of the house told his slave, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in here the poor, maimed, blind, and lame!’ ‘Master,’ the slave said, ‘what you ordered has been done, and there’s still room.’ Then the master told the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and lanes and make them come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will enjoy my banquet!’” (Luke 14:15-24)
Know this… you have been invited to the best party ever. It is an eternal party. You have received a personal invitation. The party is going to happen. The question is… will you be there? Most of the people reading this devotional have been exposed to the Gospel with many resources and opportunities to get in close with Christ. But many still struggle with engagement. It is as if we only tap into the relationship when we have a need, but not just to enjoy and celebrate our Master.
Today Jesus is calling to you, “Come and dine.” Run to the celebration. If you do not take advantage of the invitation to the blessings God has for your life, someone else will. Don’t let someone take your place at the party table.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.