Parables SeriesOne of the favorite holiday traditions in our family has been a Christmas Open House in December. We’ve enjoyed hosting new members in our home here in Atlanta the last few years. We moved to Indiana in November of 2008 and thought that an Open House would be a great way to get to know people in the church and in the neighborhood.  So, we cleaned the house (actually, it gave us motivation to unpack most everything), prepared food, made sure the Christmas decorations were up, prepared food, set up extra chairs and prepared more food. We were ready for a large group of people who we either barely knew or didn’t know at all to show up at our house.

The day arrived and I remember getting into my truck following church and the thermometer telling me it was 3 degrees. 3 degrees! I didn’t know that temperature existed.  I arrived home and we began the last minute preparations for the Open House that afternoon.  Mary Michael and I talked about it being 3 degrees and really windy. We wondered who in the world would venture outside in the weather. Fear set in that it would be too cold for anyone to really want to get out that afternoon.  We were throwing a party and no one would show up. The party was to begin at 3 PM and the house was still empty. Fear really began to set in that no one was showing up. I would be eating bruschetta for every meal for about two weeks.  Finally, people began to show up. We were not only excited to see people, but relieved as well.

What would happen if God threw a party and no one showed up?  Jesus told a group of religious leaders a story that invites us to think about what happens when no one shows up.  It is a story of divine grace, generous invitation, and dire consequences.  Join us this Sunday in worship as we continue our Stories That Changed The World series and gain wisdom for today through this story. I hope you will invite someone with you to church!
I also to ask you to continue to pray for the people who lost their lives in Chattanooga last week at the hands of a gunman. We continue to have an epidemic in our nation around gun violence. At the General Assembly this week in Columbus, Ohio I was honored to introduce a resolution on gun violence on the floor of the Assembly. You can read the resolution, which passed, at
I look forward to being back in Atlanta and back in the pulpit this Sunday.
Grace and peace,

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