Undelivered Invitations

mailmanWhen I was a pastor I used to fantasize about being a mail carrier. I figured the pay would be about the same and the pressure exponentially reduced. The weight of mailbags wouldn’t compare with the charge of souls. I knew a couple of the privileged class of postal workers and they seemed so much less stressed than me. Lots of fresh air, a can of mace for un-neighborly dogs, and home for dinner minus the onus of what didn’t get done that day. What’s not to like?

If you’re a mail carrier and your daily task is a tad more challenging than I’ve indicated, I apologize for misrepresenting you. I’m sure, unlike the temperate climate in my West Coast city, harsh weather can be a pain, not to mention menacing home-alone-canines, full cans of pepper spray notwithstanding. And I presume that, unlike the olden days, fewer and fewer of your customers give you a fruitcake at Christmas.

But all things considered, you have to admit that when carriers of all things postal finish emptying their bag, they pull into the garage without a care. That is, unless they don’t empty their bag. Woe to the mail delivery person who fails to deliver all their boxes and letters!

A pedestrian metaphor to be sure (pun intended), but consider the follower of Jesus with his/her bag full of God’s party invitations. Not that difficult a job really. Just out delivering the mail, bad weather and snarling dogs aside. We don’t write the Maker’s mail or pay the postage. We just have to­­––I mean, get to––distribute it to those that God wants at his party. We don’t have to throw the party or pay for it. Jesus took care of all that. We’re not even charged with convincing the invitees to come. That’s the Spirit’s job. Pretty simple when you think about it. Just deliver the invitations with a smile.

But consider those Christians, of course we’re talking about those other Christians, whose bag at the end of the day (i.e. at the end of their life) is still full. Maybe they got distracted with opening their own mail, with inclement conditions, or the threat of ankle-biting Pekingese, but when they arrived home their mailbags are still full of undelivered party invitations.

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds!”


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