I occasionally get invitations in the mail to various events. I’m always fascinated by the ones that request an RSVP but then add the phrase “regrets only.” I think I know the intention of “regrets only” because when food is being prepared or served, “Regrets Only” is a means the host uses to know how much to prepare. Yet, that phrase “regrets only” always puzzles me a little.
As a Pastor, I often extend an invitation to folks to come have a relationship with God. No RSVP is needed at all. All one needs to do is “Just Do It!” One way that invitation is issued is through inviting folks to come to a meal at the table of blessing and hope (communion). Another way we extend that invitation in 2015 at Covenant through testimonies: (people sharing their story). After all, the scripture for this week from Psalms 107:2 says “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –“
Regardless of the way the invitation to a relationship with God is extended at Covenant, the requested RSVP includes “And Regrets” not “regrets only.” God’s invitation is one of unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance. So we invite you to bring all of you, the good, the bad and the ugly; and watch God (if you let Him) make something beautiful of your life.
Some years ago, the great boxer, Mohammed Ali, was asked by a ghetto youth how he could quit school and start a boxing career since he had bad grades. Ali smiled at the young man and said in his poetic fashion:
Stay in college and get the knowledge,
And stay there! Till you’re through
Cause if God can make penicillin out of moldy bread,
He can make something out of you.
The invitation to a relationship with God is a reminder that God so loved the world that God sent Jesus to make something out of you. And the good news is that “sharing our story” helps us to bring along other people. So consider this your invitation to join us at Covenant in worship this coming Sunday morning or anytime. The only RSVP we request of you is just show up (and maybe bring someone with you.)
The invitation includes a meal from the table of blessing and hope, where all are welcome. As usual, God’s table is set with plenty so “Regret Only” responses are not necessary. And as part of Women’s History Month, Deacon Susan Green will offer another invitation through a sermon titled “RSVP!” It is based on the scriptural texts of Psalm 107:1-3 and John 3:14-18.