As we have studied about all the facets that make a soiree – an intimate gathering of friends – truly sublime, we have discovered that God as our Host is a more profound idea than we could even imagine. Just ponder it for a moment: A host who really wants his guests to feel welcome pays great attention to several key elements – from an enticing invitation, to a welcoming atmosphere and every detail in between. From the beginning of time, our Creator has been fashioning all those details ingeniously.
In the Beginning
God spent six days preparing the most glorious and welcoming atmosphere. He formed land and sea. He created earth and sky. He illuminated them brilliantly, populated them diversely through a preponderance of plants and creatures, and He filled the air with a symphony of their sounds. He was satisfied with each of His works, calling all of them good. Then He really zeroed in on the guest list, saying, “Let us create man in our own image” In the image of God He created them, male and female, he created them. And He called it very good. He welcomed us into His garden, inviting us to eat from any of the trees and plants within it – except one: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He also clearly communicated the dress code: no covering was needed, for the human body was beautiful and void of shame. He gave you and me the highest priority above every created thing. He is the Creator, who “created us with intentionality and purpose: people made in His image to be with Him and discover joy and meaning in relationship with Him.”[i] And the Bible tells us that God would walk in the garden in the cool of day, fellowshipping with Adam and Eve. Every day…until that day.
God fed us with every tree available in the garden, except one. He fed us with good food, but we chose to feast on the fruit of rebellion. And when we were lured to eat from that forbidden tree, we broke fellowship with God. Unholiness before a holy God. How deserving of His wrath we were! We immediately knew we had bitten off more than we could chew. Aware of our own sin, we hid ourselves; but how did He respond? God’s first act was to call out, “Where are you?” And His second was to cover our shame. He still sought fellowship with us, and even had a plan already in place to redeem our broken relationship. A plan He revealed through the birth of a little baby in Bethlehem — God the Son and the Son of God, Jesus Christ. And between that bite of forbidden fruit and the birth of the Saving Son, God kept inviting His people into fellowship – a fellowship made perfect not by anything we could do, but by faith in the One and Only Jesus Christ.
We see that as really Good News! Don’t you? If you are still wondering, why not explore more of God’s Invitation here.
[i] Beth Sickel, Good News for All People Monthly Devotional Guide 2022, January.