The church is a living, breathing representation of Jesus to this world. Jesus left his disciples with these words:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
After that, the very first sermon preached by a disciple (Peter) used Joel’s prophecy as a text. “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.“
I think it’s time the church take these words seriously, and literally. Stop vetting people and deciding who’s disciple-worthy based on their race, class, gender, age, or any other factor. What are we missing by omitting “all nations” and “the ends of the earth”?
“All people” means “all people.”
Jesus created an open table when he told the parable of the man who planned a party for his friends who declined his invitation.
The man’s response was to say to his servants, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”
And the servant said, “Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.”
And the lord said unto the servant, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
Let’s not forget the heart of our Father is inclined toward those who are forsaken, those who have been marginalized and deemed unfit. If the church would live like Jesus and love like Jesus, the world would have more disciples and his house would be full.
There’s an empty seat beside you at the table. Who are you inviting to fill it?