Remember being a kid and waiting expectantly during the days leading up to Christmas? You were probably on your best behavior, making sure that if Santa really did check that list twice, you’d be on the right side of it. Hours felt like days, and days felt like weeks, until the moment finally arrived: Christmas morning.
If you were like most children, you probably hopped out of bed before dawn, before your parents were even awake, and headed expectantly for the gifts wrapped and waiting under the tree. Who knew what wonders awaited? This week, as we read through the last part of Irresistible Invitation: Responding to the Extravagant Heart of God, we’re headed toward another wonderfully special event: Commitment Sunday. That’s the day you’ll be able to commit your prayers, presence, service, and financial gifts to the church for the coming season. And just like Christmas morning, you have no idea what wonders await.
What does home represent to you? Hopefully, the word conjures up an image of the place where you belong. It’s the spot you can be who you really are, where you’re accepted, loved, encouraged, and nurtured so you can face the rest of the world with confidence. Granted, not everyone is blessed with that kind of scenario. Some deal with abusive situations, hurtful relationships, and negative influences that can make things more uncomfortable than they should be. And that’s all the more reason why the church needs to step up to the plate.
Sooner or later, you’ll discover it - It’s not some new math, some twisted form of algebra, or even a modified version of addition and subtraction. Instead, it’s often described as God math, and it defies all sorts of human logic. It works like this: you give money to the church or to someone in need, even though you don’t really have it to give. You make a sacrifice. God then does a miraculous thing: since you’ve done his business, he takes care of yours. You find that your own need is satisfied, sometimes in a surprising way.
Imagine the scene: you’re headed to a party, but you don’t know that much about the host. There may be some food there; there may not. And even if there is, you may not like it. So, what do you do? You scrounge around at home, looking through leftovers and prepackaged goods to make a quick meal to tide you over. Even if you’re not fully satisfied, at least you won’t be hungry, right?
Well, get this: you arrive at that party, and the host has laid out the most incredible buffet you’ve ever seen. It includes an abundance of all of your favorites—even the things that you’ve never told anyone you desired—and the host invites you to have your fill. The problem is, you already have. You had enough of that less-than-satisfying food to quell your appetite, and frankly, there’s no room left.