The Invitation

We welcomed new members today. Six people had decided to join our church.

They had faithfully attended the membership class a few weeks before, dutifully filled in the paper-work, learned about the holy sacraments we celebrate as United Methodists, and heard all about John Wesley, our founding father.

They were ready. Today was the day we would welcome them into membership.

My husband stood at the altar and called their names. They came forward, smiling. But before we welcomed them into our United Methodist family, my husband said these words…

Is there anyone else here today who feels like they would like to join our church this morning?

It was quiet. And still. Nobody moved. But he didn’t give up.

If God is moving in your heart, I invite you to come forward. We can deal with the red tape and paperwork later, he smiled. But if God is calling you, come and stand with us. 

And from behind him, a young woman came, followed by her husband, followed by an older lady who slowly made her way up to the altar, pushing her walker. It took her a long time. But she came. They came. They stood together. And suddenly, six became nine.

And you could just feel it, this whisper of the Holy Spirit, this mysterious murmur that happens when you let God work in the moment, in the quietness, in the heart.

And I’m sure it’s the same Holy Spirit who whispered in the wind on that Galilean beach so long ago, when Jesus said ‘follow me’ to four fishermen, who just dropped their nets and went. Because what could be more important than saying yes to Jesus?

And here’s the thing… I don’t think God cares if we’re ready. I don’t think God cares if our nets are mended or our classes are completed. No form-filling, no lesson-learning, no net-mending should ever come between us and God. God just wants us to say yes to the call, to walk up to the altar.

Because when we do, we invite God to be at work in powerful ways. The moment becomes God’s moment, and our church becomes that beach, where we can drop our nets in the sand, and let the ground become holy as we follow Jesus.

If God is calling you, come and stand with us. my husband said.

It’s the best invitation we could ever receive, the only invitation that truly offers us life.

Church

18 thoughts on “The Invitation

    1. Diane Grimm

      Glenys, I loved your story about your Dad’s Bible. You are inspiring me to continue to work on my writing! Thank you for sharing the Holy Spirit moment from your service on Sunday. Paw Paw UMC is in need of prayers for discernment surrounding a new pastor and what direction we are headed.

      Reply
    2. Marie Ugorek

      This is a marvelous, present-day example of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Mt 20:1-15). Sometimes, we know what we are called to do in time to prepare, other times, we do not know until the time is upon us.

      Reply
  1. Betsy Weems

    Oh my- wish I could have witnessed that beautiful, still moment. Love Trinity and the Spirit of love and acceptance. Honored to work with you all–

    Reply
  2. Martin Johnston

    Perhaps there’s more to the saying “The Devil is in the details” than we realize? 🙂 Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of grace and inspiration. May we all be as attentive as your husband and as willing as those who responded to the divine invitation!

    Reply
  3. Len Schoenherr

    I still remember a 85year old woman who came forward and a teen who literally ran from the back to a similar invitation a few years ago. The Spirit works in both preparation and invitation!

    Reply
  4. Nell Tharp

    It was Easter Sunday and I was about 11-years-old. I felt a tug at my soul and just knew it was time for me to make my commitment. My sister, two years younger, followed me to the altar. We had been baptized as infants. I have never regretted that moment.

    Reply
    1. Glenys Post author

      Oh Nell….how wonderful! Thanks for sharing that. I had exactly that same experience with my older sister when we were young, and then just last year, we are able to reaffirm our baptism in the River Jordan together. If you search ‘Holy Land’ on this site, you’ll see pictures! Many blessings to you, and thanks for visiting and commenting!

      Reply
  5. Carla McLaughlin

    I had been searching for a church home (literally for years after moving to OKC), and when I went to Acts 2 the very first time, I knew I was home. I fit there and I thought they could use me. It was such a good fit I was almost laughing through that first service. I went a second time before I attended the newcomers meeting, but I already knew. God had made it clear to me on that first visit.

    Reply

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