RSVP

We almost missed a wedding. We were invited . . . but didn’t know it. The invitation went out over Facebook. Sue doesn’t have a Facebook account . . . and I wasn’t a “friend.” We knew they were getting married . . . just weren’t quite sure if we were invited. My girls, all “friends,” knew of the event and, being our friends too, let us know that we were intended recipients of the invite as well. Would have been sad to have missed the blessed event . . . would have been bummed to not have had a chance to RSVP.

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1 ESV)

As I read Isaiah 55 this morning, I’m noodling over another invitation. It’s an invitation I RSVP’d to decades ago . . . an invitation, it occurs to me, which I still need to respond to. It is an offer of rich food (55:2b) . . . of drink and sustenance that makes the soul come alive (55:3) . . . a feast of grace by which God will abundantly pardon (55:7b). A table spread according to the great love and compassion of a God who desires to be a heavenly Father . . . a banquet table available without cost, sponsored, as it were, by the eternal promises of God.

And so, the invitation is to come . . . to come, buy and eat . . . to listen diligently and incline my ear (55:2-3) . . . to seek the LORD while He may be found and call upon the LORD while He is near (55:6) . . . to forsake my selfish ways and return to the One who desires to shower me with His infinite, marvelous grace (55:7).

Mine is to RSVP . . . Yes, LORD!

Kind of sad, if I miss the invitation. It’s not like I’m not a “friend” . . . not like I’m not “connected” . . . not like the Word of invitation hasn’t been given to me. If God’s people spent as much time checking the Word as they do their Facebook accounts, I’m guessing there’d be a lot more coming . . . and listening . . . and seeking . . . and returning . . . and buying of that which satisfies.

Sadder still, if, after having read the invitation, I fail to RSVP. If somehow I think that I’m ok with the food and drink which I can provide myself. If I continue to spend my resources “for that which is not bread” and expend my effort “for that which does not satisfy” (55:2). If, somehow, I think I have enough of God and fail to seek more . . . if for some reason, I believe that He can be number 2 on my priority list, and rob myself of pursuing Him as Number 1.

Maybe we don’t think to come because we fail to recognize our thirst . . . because we’ve grown accustomed to our hunger. Our pursuit of the things of this age have made dull our senses towards the things of the age to come. Though malnourished with the junk food of this world, we’ve been deceived into thinking that we’re enjoying the “good life” and the blessings of God. When, in fact, He wants us to come . . . and eat of the food which He provides . . . without price and cost to ourselves . . . provided wholly through the finished work of Christ . . . served up daily through the abiding Spirit of God . . . available to all who hear and RSVP.

Just as I am, without one plea,
but that Thy blood was shed for me,
and that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
hath broken every barrier down;
now, to be Thine, yea Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
                                                       – Charlotte Elliot 1789 – 1871

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