All week long, my heart is full as I reflect on Agent Z’s Luke-14 Party which he facilitated Monday (3 days ago) in the park. I am so thrilled that Agent Z chose to be biblical about it. He chose Luke 14 as a template – even an assignment. He asked for my help and guidance, but I kept that very minimal so he would stretch and grow. And he stepped up in every way. He raised the funding. He made the plans. He prepared invitations.
Being the younger partner, you can easily imagine that Agent Z is the tech-savvy guy in our group. I had nothing to do with his electronic invitations, but he prepared a fancy video and posted it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. He broadcast this video invitation to everyone he knows AND to the world-wide-web. Many responded with comments on how well done his video invitation was. But when the event was on, only two brothers showed up.
Its as if “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant[c] to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
And so the servant goes to the Master and reports it to him. “Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.”
(I think I read this stuff somewhere before…. Oh yeah, Luke 14!)
I am so deeply disappointed in our family, our friends, and our church. Where were the grandparents? I asked Agent Z this. He shrugged. I said, “[Z], if you had been tasked with putting on the party for President Trump when he came to Lubbock, do you think your grandparents would drop whatever they are doing and come?” He said, Yeah. And I think so too. I think every friend, family, and church member of even the slightest acquaintance would trip over themselves to get to his party. But when Agent Z invites the poor AS HE IS DIRECTED TO DO IN LUKE 14, and thereby inviting the Matthew-25:40 Jesus himself, they don’t come.
Throw a party for Jesus and watch who excuses themselves from coming!
I will be careful not to make a blanket accusation here, but with this small caveat: Some excuses are worthy. Agent Baby Sister was in school and could not miss class. Some people might genuinely not have seen the invitation, and thus really did not know. I will leave that for each individual to work out between themselves and God. But when your son/grandson/brother/friend puts on a community-inclusive class project for school… Why and how do you blow that off? When your boy throws a party in the park to celebrate Jesus… How do you blow that off?
I mean, this boy is doing an internship with his old youth minister as his mentor, but we saw neither hide nor hair of him! Why???
This has only just come to my attention in the last 24 hours, but I am deeply disappointed and really struggling with this. And I have a warning for those of you who say you value Agent Z and Jesus but who so casually blew them both off: Luke 14:24.
Neither Jesus, Agent Z, nor me, though we conduct our ministry beneath your contempt are playing around out there. We are serving The King! We invited you to his feast, but you did not come. Beware.