(This is a series on what WholeLifeWorship is about. To read other blogs in this series, click here)
Don’t you love getting invitations? Whether it’s a wedding invitation or a party or even going on an adventure, there is a certain thrill and happiness when you get an invite from someone you love. I remember getting an invitation to join a bunch of friends on a two-week trip to Israel awhile back. I jumped at the opportunity and, wow, that was an adventure in many ways.
As I shared in my blog a couple weeks ago, living out WholeLifeWorship in our Mondays through Saturdays is simply inviting Jesus into our everyday ordinary experiences: our work, our errands, our tasks, our relationships, our trials, our observations, and our joys. (If you missed that blog, click here). When we invite Jesus into our ordinary, He usually does something extraordinary. Our tasks and trials get easier. Our work becomes more enjoyable. Our relationships become deeper and more meaningful. Our observations become more profound. And our joys become launching pads for praise and thanksgiving.
But that’s only half of it.
Whenever we invite Christ into our everyday ordinary experiences, He often invites us to an adventure we’ve never seen before. I think that Jesus waits for us to invite Him into our everyday ordinary, so that we can be invited to His everyday EXTRAORDINARY.
I think about Letty (my wife), who is a public school teacher and a devoted WholeLifeWorshiper. She daily invites Jesus into her teaching, her interactions with parents and co-workers, her frustrations, anxieties, and joys. And it’s as she invites Jesus into her daily activities that she senses His invitation to bring His light into other people’s lives.
For example, Letty “noticed” a new staff member at her school who was very engaging with her transitional kindergarten students. Letty knew, from past experience, that when she “notices” something, it’s usually an invitation from God to engage.
So, Letty started a conversation with Lori (not her real name) and there was an immediate connection. They would have small conversations off and on until one day Letty “noticed” that Lori was a little downcast. Letty asked Lori, “Are you okay?” And Lori just opened up. She tearfully shared that her dad was dying. For the past several weekends, Lori would make the 6 hour drive (one-way) to be with her dad to take care of him. She had to stay in a hotel because he was in a room at a Senior Center. This sacrifice to help her dad was draining her financially as a single woman living on a school librarian’s modest salary.
It “just so happened” that our Missional Community (called New Hope) had just given everyone in our community $500 to “find a need and meet it, in Jesus’ Name.” Letty and I sensed the Lord’s invitation to give Lori these funds, as well as additional funds that we added on to (because we were so excited to be a part of this!)
When Letty gave Lori the money, she wept and cried out, “Thank you! I was so overwhelmed, I was ready to give up!” And then as she read the note from our missional community, she said, “Wait a minute. ‘New Hope’? I went to a church called New Hope when I was a teenager.” It turns out that the church she attended in the 80’s folded in 1996, but since their pastor was a good friend of mine, they gave their non-profit license to me when I started “The Fountain” missional communities in 2000. But The Fountain had been dormant since 2008. And then in 2020, Pastor Ed Carey and I resurrected The Fountain and decided to change the name back to “New Hope.” So, in a way, we are the latest iteration of that church that first introduced Lori to Jesus (ain’t that something?!)
And it turns out that Lori hasn’t been involved in Christian community since she attended New Hope back in the 1980’s. So, God spoke to her a very powerful message that had many connections. And it all started because Letty was aware and open enough to hear and respond to Jesus’ invitation.
God constantly extends invitations to His children to join Him in bringing His light to others. The invitation looks differently to different people:
1. It could be an impression that God puts on your heart
2. It could be an opportunity to help someone during the course of your day
3. It could be a person that comes to your mind – as an invitation to pray or to make a connection
The question is: will we respond to the invitation that Jesus sends our way? Or will we ignore it because we are too busy with our own thing? Responding to the Lord’s invitation always leads to a greater and richer experience in life. And having an attitude of WholeLifeWorship puts your soul in a position to hear and respond to these wonderful Divine invitations.
1. What strikes you in this devotional blog about Everyday Worship?
2. When have you sensed Jesus’ Divine Invitation in your everyday life?
3. What is the next step the Lord wants you to take to engage with Him throughout your day?
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