The New Guest List
When an Atlanta charity got a call from the Fowler family, inviting 200 homeless to the upscale Villa Christina restaurant for a four-course meal last Sunday, they thought it was just a practical (read: cruel) joke at first. (Source: New York Daily News)
|200 of Atlanta's homeless enjoying a four-course meal at a premiere restaurant.|
Image source: New York Daily News
But it wasn’t a joke. The “kind-hearted Atlanta couple made the best out of a bad situation by donating their daughter’s canceled wedding reception to the homeless.” (Ibid) According to Carol Fowler, the mother of the bride, “It was my husband’s idea. … We prayed about it. And when he woke up the next morning, [Willie] said, ‘We’re going to call Hosea Feed the Hungry and ask if we can donate it to the needy.’” (Ibid) And donate they did.
The food presentation, the gold plates and crystals reportedly overwhelmed the “guests.” According to Elisabeth Omilami, CEO of the charity, “The passed hors d’oeuvre were very interesting because the children were wondering, ‘could we take the whole tray, or do we just take one off of the tray?’ … So this was an educational opportunity as well, because now they all know how to eat at a four-course meal and the etiquette involved in that.” (Ibid)
|The children were wondering, "‘could we take the whole tray, or do we just take one off of the tray?" Image source: New York Daily News|
|Willie Fowler (in black), his wife Carol (in blue) and their daughter Tamara (in red). Image source: New York Daily News|
Understandably, the host got furious. They can’t fool him. They just didn’t want to go to the banquet. So, he commanded his servants “Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame. … Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” (vv. 21, 23) He wouldn’t allow the feast to go to waste just because there are those who don’t want to enjoy it.
Jesus gives people the opportunity to know Him. He doesn’t want his offer of salvation to be wasted. But there are people who would rather give alibis than go for it. “The excuses seemed good to those who gave them, but they were inadequate for refusing Jesus’ kingdom offer. Nothing was so important as accepting His offer of the kingdom, for one’s entire destiny rests on his response to that offer.”* So, what are your excuses? What’s keeping you from putting your faith on our Lord Jesus as your Savior?
My take? Respond to His invitation. Don’t reject it.
* John A. Martin, “Luke” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, ed. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983, 1985), 243.