The Greatest Invitation Of All Time
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
You may be wondering why, right at the beginning of advent, we’ve gone straight in with a visit to the Shepherds. It’s not where the story starts, but for them, it is! The Saviour of the world has just been born and these unassuming shepherds get what I believe to be the greatest invitation ever; a personal invite into the greatest story of all time. They are so compelled by the news that the angel shares that they hurry to be in Jesus’ presence, even though they have no idea what it could mean for their life. A simple invite and the news that the saviour was here, and they don’t look back.
Does this sound like a familiar blueprint? If it does, it’s probably because at some point you’ve heard the good news of Jesus and decided to give your life to him, knowing that it’s completely unpredictable. If it doesn’t, keep reading, because this is for you too. That’s just how good the good new is; when people hear it, they can’t help but respond.
The brilliant thing about that first invitation is that it wasn’t the only one, and God has not stopped inviting people into his story of salvation since. The whole of the New Testament is home to invitation after invitation, but the invitations don’t stop coming where the words cease. Now, today, God is still inviting people into his presence, and the mantle has fallen to us to play a part in this story. Which brings us to…
#fusiondeckthehalls ADVENT CHALLENGE #1!
You will have guessed by now that your challenge this week is to invite some coursemates or housemates to something. What could that be for you? There will be plenty of Christmas services going on throughout December, where a simple invite could be the difference between your friends responding to the Gospel message or not. We are cheering you on and praying for you as you invite your friends into your church celebrations this month. Be expectant for God to move, and tag us using the hashtag #fusiondeckthehalls to share your stories.
Already, God has been bringing students into his family through Christmas services! Check out this incredible story from Brogan:
So enjoy celebrating this December, and remember there is no failure in stepping out in faith in the Kingdom! Boldy invite, be expectant, and if they don’t go with you or don’t give their lives to Jesus, trust that God is working behind the scenes.