Friday, May 21, 2010

Guess who's coming to dinner

Have you ever done that thing were you try to work out the guests at a dinner when you can choose anyone from history? Even if you narrow it down, it's not that easy.

If I were to limit my choices to Biblical character and exclude Jesus, for no other reason than it's a given that you'd want him there, then who might I choose? It could end up as quite a long list.

I'd probably start with Abraham. I'd be fascinated to hear his story about how it felt to be called to make that epic journey. How he felt when things stalled and promises were a long time coming. Elijah would be on my list too. I'd ask him about how he dealt with the low points and how it felt when God spoke to him in the whisper and challenged him with that question, "What are doing here?" That's a question that follows me around a lot! I often sit down and talk with God about that.

I might invite the wife of Jeroboam. I wonder how the prophecy about the death of her son affected her. Did she make any changes in response to that or did she just carry on?  Human beings are strange creatures. They often say that they'll believe if only God would make things clear, but when he does, they just as easily turn their backs and pretend it isn't so.

Isaiah would definitely be on my list. To have had that kind of vision, showed that kind of commitment and courage and then discover that your ministry is all about decline in the nation, that must have been a hard road to travel. Daniel too would be an interesting guest. Remaining faithful throughout that long period of captivity, finding a way to serve God and serve the king with integrity. Many lessons to learn from Daniel.

From the New Testament there would be Peter. I just want to know how it felt to walk on water. Barnabas could share almost anything and make it encouraging. Synteche and Euodia. Did they ever make up?

The list could go on, but the dining table is already crowded.

The thing is, would I be disappointed with my guests or would I disappoint them? Heroes often turn out to be less impressive in person. They have their flaws. Perhaps Elijah wouldn't have any answers for  how to deal with my low days, maybe Isaiah would own up to carrying a crushing sense of failure even though he knew what God had called him to do. Maybe even Barnabas would hold a few grudges!

Who knows? In the end I'd hope that our dinner conversations would be like any other dinner. Lots of laughter, lots of stories. Lots of discovering that we are all human and that God still loves us, wants the best for us, calls out the best in us, and rejoices over us.

Time to face the day. I wonder what God has in store for me today?

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