So, we’ve talked about Advent being about waiting & watching and about God’s invitation to enter into a greater awareness of Him. You may also recall that I described this season as a time in which we create more space for God; we open ourselves and make ourselves ready. So, then, what might come next?

Here’s something worth considering: In a paradoxical way, Advent not only urges us to receive God’s invitations but also invites us to become the Inviters. It summons us to a place in which we can do the inviting, too. In a mysterious twist of events, Jesus—the One overflowing with invitations— waits for us to invite Him to come closer.

Stay with me here.

Today, as I sit with this invitation theme, God is calling my attention to the biblical story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Read verses 1-6 here:

[Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 

The closest that this wee little man had thought he would get to Jesus that day was dangling overhead from a sycamore limb; instead, Jesus entered Zacchaeus’ very living room. Now, I realize that, technically, Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house. But I imagine that as the two of them reached the front door (the tax collector having scrambled down from that precarious limb), Jesus might have politely waited for Zacchaeus to turn and gesture with a sweeping hand, “Won’t you come in, please?”

Advent invites us to anticipate, to notice, to make space for God. Beautifully, then, it grants us the opportunity to extend an invitation to Jesus, Himself: “Won’t you come in, please?”

Surely, Jesus’ invitations to us are far greater than any we could ever offer Him. Yet, I believe He loves it when we invite Him to come into the space we are creating for Him. Are there invitations you might extend to Jesus in this Advent season? Which places could He be waiting to be invited into? How does it feel to imagine inviting Jesus into your space?

These are things worth considering.



Place to Pause

Cape Neddick, Maine, 2019