I Wasn't Invited

Have you ever in your life NOT been invited to a party or gathering or some event that you wanted to be at and then felt badly, hurt, rejected? But then your spirits were uplifted because you heard that it was a lousy party, like boring or stupid, or it rained and everyone's clothes got drenched or maybe even the rented wool tuxes shrunk, or the caterer brought the wrong food or the food was spoiled or something and like everyone got a case of food poisoning, or, you weren't chosen to be on a team and they lose the game or well, you get the idea. Something not so good happened and you delighted in the fact that it happened because you hadn't been invited. Maybe you don't want to admit it happened as and adult, but probably you can admit it happened sometime when you were a kid. Maybe there was a time when the really neat or cool kids, the "in" crowd or popular kids, ignored you, left you out and you took delight that they all got busted because someone at the party was drinking or smoking.

Or maybe nothing happened but you thought about how it might happen, or you convince yourself it was a boring party and you didn't really want to be around those people anyway. I think if we're truthful with our selves, we all have experienced something like that in our lives and had similar feelings.

Or what about when you bare your soul, admit having had experiences and feelings like that, then someone says they never were left out or rejected and you'd like to wring their neck because they're either lying about it and trying to make you look stupid or else they probably had been part of an "in" crowd bunch that you never could stand. And now that you have admitted having had feelings that aren't so acceptable, they make you feel even worse because they say they can't imagine why you could have had such negative feelings.

Or, what if you had invited someone to one of your parties and they turned you down using some excuse that you later found out was a lie? Or heard later that they had told someone they turned your invitation down because they wouldn't ever be caught dead at one of your lame parties. Another way to be and feel rejected.

Or what if you had a party and invited only the "in" crowd folks and left out some of your friends because you didn't think they would fit in and would spoil the impression you were trying to make on the folks you had invited?

What if you had a worship service in Jesus' name, meaning that everyone is invited, yet you never invited a black person, a person who was Chinese or Middle Eastern, never invited a physically handicapped person or someone you were embarrassed to be around because of their handicap but you would never admit that to yourself, never invited a person who looked dirty or whose clothes were dirty or just that you didn't like how they looked or you were suspicious of them because of how they looked, never invited a poor person, or if you consider yourself poor, then a poorer person than yourself, never invited anyone you served a meal to at Carpenter's Table, (or if you did, never followed up on it), never went into the poorer parts of town and extended an invitation to anyone, never invited anyone you have delivered Thanksgiving or Christmas food or presents to, (or if you did once, never followed up on it), never invited a person you thought was on drugs, never invited an alcoholic, never invited a person who was doing things you considered to be sinful, never invited someone you thought talked too much or was a little bit crazy, never invited a person you didn't like because they were too arrogant, never invited a biker or helped start a biker service, or if a biker never asked another biker, never invited a person you thought was gay or lesbian, never invited a child or youth to Sunday School or worship because you thought they would steal something, never invited a child who was hyperactive or noisy, never invite anyone because your attitude is "we're here, they'll come if they want to," never invited neighbors because you think they would feel you were imposing or badgering them or it would embarrass you to ask them or because you really didn't want them to be part of your church anyway, or never invited anyone because they would make you feel uncomfortable at worship or that they just didn't fit in with this group and they should find a group that is more like themselves where they'd fit in.

Well, that's today's Gospel lesson in a nutshell. Most of you know how it feels to not have been invited at some point in your life. So, you can imagine how some folks feel when they aren't invited to worship here at this place that is GOD'S church, GOD'S house. Can you imagine how they feel that you never invited them to worship with you? Can you imagine what they think you think of them? Can you imagine what they think of you? Can you imagine that they think you don't care and that you could care less what they think of you? Can you imagine that is probably the truth? Can you imagine that they feel they are not wanted here, not welcome here? That you don't want them here? And it's not much of a stretch of imagination there. And not much of a stretch of imagination that that's the truth, you probably don't.

But this is Jesus' church. HE'S doing the inviting but we're not following through. We're actually PREVENTING folks he's invited from coming because of our own arrogance, prejudice or apathy. We act as if this is OUR church and we're in charge of who to invite. Jesus invites everyone, ESPECIALLY the folks we reject inviting for one reason or another.

Most of you will hear this as just another sermon and won't do anything about changing the invitation list in your mind; the only way to change that list is to actually invite the people Jesus is asking you to invite to HIS church, HIS party, HIS banquet.

Another point about not being asked relates to those within the church who say they weren't asked to be on a committee or Board or come to some event or gathering or to help with some event or gathering. That's simply not true. If you attend worship here, you're invited. Consider yourself asked. Stop playing the prima Donna about having to be personally asked in order for you to do anything. Stop playing the game of self pity. Stop trying to make other people feel guilty. Stop playing "I wasn't invited; I wasn't asked" as an excuse card for your own lack of interest or motivation or apathy.

And finally, start inviting your spiritual self into the activity of your life. God has given you that part of yourself and communicates to you through your spiritual self. Many don't make use of their spiritual self. It's like having a wise and knowledgeable person sitting right next to you and never asking that person for advice or help. It's like reaching for something and falling on your face because you didn't grab hold of the hand of your spiritual self sitting right next to you to anchor you from falling as you reached.

And just so you know YOU are invited and can never say you weren't, the ushers are going to hand out invitations to everyone of you as we stand and sing our hymn of the day printed on the insert sheet in your bulletin. And as you stand, let me hear you say "Amen."

You are invited.

The Bible is full of invitations to you.

You can never say you weren't invited.


Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Invites you also to all the following:

  • Wednesday Night Informal Communion Service
  • Wednesday Night Bible Study
  • Sunday Church School for children, youth and adults
  • Trinity Youth Group: CIA (Christians In Action)
  • The newly forming Children and Youth Choir
  • Worship Leader
  • Acolyte Society
  • Confirmation Class
  • Usher Staff
  • The Adult Choir
  • The Prayer Chain Group
  • The Stewardship Board
  • The Evangelism Board
  • The Parish Life Board
  • Publicity Board
  • Personnel Committee
  • The Mite Society


As if all that weren't enough, If you haven't yet become a member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church,You are invited to join.

Read more sermons by Pastor Brie