March 30, 2008
Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
I was once invited to dinner at the house of a family who had a number of children. That's great; I like children.
But these children whispered to each other at the dinner table. They whispered a lot. They whispered so much I found myself getting upset and rather frustrated with them. I thought, "Why hasn't anyone taught these youngsters any manners? Don't they know it's impolite to whisper in front of others?"
That's what I thought, but it wasn't the real problem.
What really bothered me was the fact that I was being left out. These young folks, with their looks and quiet words, were excluding me from their conversation.
None of us like to be excluded, do we? Like Rudolph, it’s easy to get upset if the other reindeer don’t let us join in their reindeer games. It doesn't matter if the occasion is at a friend's house for dinner or when we were children and nobody picked us for one of the school games. We don't like to be on the outside looking in.
This is why I give thanks I have a God who keeps inviting me into His family of faith. His Son keeps inviting us to come with Him into heaven. He tells us most clearly that He has done all that is necessary for that to happen. Because of Jesus, we’re not left out.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Jesus, for inviting me into Your family I give thanks. For making it so I am welcome, I give thanks. Now may I live that thanks by encouraging and welcoming others. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries