All Are Welcome!

December 8, 2016
Volume 20, Number 39

Wanda Dench of Mesa, Arizona was making her plans for the family Thanksgiving meal.  She texted her invitations to family members, including her grandson.  What Wanda didn’t know was that the grandson had changed his phone number.  Her text went to a complete stranger, Jamal Hinton.

Once the mistake was realized, Jamal made a bold request: “Could I still get a plate?”  A total stranger at the family Thanksgiving table?!  Wanda responded, though, with grace: “Of course you can.  That’s what grandmas do.”

The story goes on; Jamal posted the incident on his Twitter account, along with Wanda’s phone number.  Before all was said and done, about 600 others texted Wanda, asking if they could also join in the Thanksgiving meal.  Not that many actually showed up, but Wanda was ready with two turkeys and a long table in the back of her house.  She was ready to welcome anyone who came.

Stories like that aren’t common.  Most people would have refused Jamal’s request to come to dinner, explaining that they merely had the wrong number.  Wanda, however, has touched many hearts with her generous spirit.

Jesus told a parable about a king who invited many to his son’s wedding feast.  When the time came, the announcement was made: “all things are ready.  Come to the wedding” (Matthew 22:4).  Sadly, those who were invited were too busy to come.  They missed what would likely have been the biggest event of their lives.

Why did Jesus tell a story like that?  It illustrates the invitation God has extended to all of humanity: Come be a part of My Son’s kingdom.  Enjoy the benefits of being a child of God; live under His protection and guidance.

Why don’t more people see the amazing nature of that offer?  Paul explained: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this world has blinded …” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4).  Satan, our adversary (1 Peter 5:8), is determined to bring us to ruin, to totally spoil our lives.  He has convinced many that Christ’s offer is bogus, or that He wouldn’t actually allow us into the banquet.

We must not allow Satan to deceive us; Jesus is serious about the invitation.  In John 7:37, for example, He declared, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”  The offer is repeated in Revelation 22:17: “… And let him who thirsts come.  Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”  Read that again: “Whoever”.

A feast is waiting in Christ’s kingdom.  All things are ready; let us accept the invitation.

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2016, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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