Jesus taught us the great truths of God through parables. If He were teaching us today, He would use earth-life situations to teach us about Heaven-life reality.
Jesus, today, might say: “Life is like a Bar-B-Q!”
WE’RE INVITED! We come to a Bar-B-Q by an Invitation from the host and hostess. They choose whose names will be on the Invitation List. Party-crashers are not welcome! No one would think of attending a Bar-B-Q without an invitation!
Also, each Invitation requires an RSVP; it’s a common courtesy to respond, to let the host and hostess know if one is planning on coming to their Bar-B-Q.
Jesus says: “My Heavenly Father is throwing the best Bar-B-Q ever! You’re invited! Let me know whether you plan on coming!” He has invited everyone; there are people on God’s Invitation List that I would never invite!
The Invitation states: “The Bar-B-Q will be on the grounds of my Father’s mansion. The date will be set later. But, I need your RSVP now!” Only those who reply “Yes! I will be there!” will be admitted to the Bar-B-Q!
THE SERVING TABLE IS FULL! We don’t need to bring anything to the Father’s table! We’re invited to come as we are. God supplies everything. There is nothing we can add; we have nothing that God needs.
THE MEAT IS THE “MAIN DISH.” Steak, pork loin, or ribs barbecued to perfection. Yet, the meat is not all there is! A full table includes potato salad, slaw, baked beans, and bread; a Bar-B-Q wouldn’t be complete without pickles and relish, Bar-B-Q sauce, catsup and mustard.
There are times in life when we want to be the “main dish.” We love to be the center of attention, hear the crowd praise our name. But, just like the meat, life is not full/complete when there is just “me.” We all need those people who are the “side dishes,” who serve silently in the background, often anonymously. Every dish adds to the fullness of the table; every person adds to the completeness of life.
QUALITY IS THE KEY! We count the quantity; God looks at the quality! We revel in the number of people who attend, the number of things we’ve accomplished, the number of things we own, the numbers… God judges all things by the higher standard of divine quality! One quality deed is worth more than 100 deeds done in a mediocre manner.
IT’S ALL IN THE SEASONING! Competitors in any BAR-B-Q-Competition will tell you that the secret to winning is in the seasoning! God seasons life with Divine love, grace, mercy, and peace.
Christ calls us to be the seasoning in a bland, tasteless, unappetizing world!
THE JOY LIES IN SHARING! God has blessed us with everything we really need in this life! Our greatest joy comes when we share those blessings with others!
Enjoy God’s Bar-B-Q! Invite your friends and neighbors, and even strangers to the feast!
Share your blessings! Celebrate the good life God gives us every day!
(Dr. Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist pastor in Missouri.)