An Invitation To A Way Of Life And A Life

I thought, wow, this is one heck of a poor invitation.

At the airport last week traveling on a vacation, I spotted one of those religious pamphlets someone left behind. It said something about going to Hell.

I had been lost in thought, or maybe non-thinking, and the headline jarred me back to consciousness.

Is that any way to invite someone into a better life?

We are in Advent season–the annual time of reflection upon the miracle of Jesus. Something we think we can understand, but really we can’t.

But isn’t the coming of Jesus an invitation? An invitation into a better life now, as well as “life” in a philosophical or theological sense?

The shepherds were invited to participate in the birth story. The Magi were invited through the special star they saw, contemplated and followed.

Later we have John (the Baptizer) who invited people to turn their lives around and live spirit-filled lives.

Then we have two sides of Jesus. He was the teacher who updated Wisdom teaching to a new level. He invited people to live a new life and taught how to do it. Then came death and resurrection and the invitation to life after death.

Jesus’ invitations were not without risk and challenges. But he always invited people. Disappointed many times as people fell away or refused to accept the invitation, to be sure, but the invitation–that was always out there.

And I don’t think he left pamphlets in restrooms shouting out that we’re all going to Hell.

Advent is a time of invitation into a fuller, richer life with-God.

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