This is what life with Jesus is like:
One day Jesus invited everyone over to His house for a potluck dinner. I was very excited, and looked forward with anticipation to go to His house. But when the day arrived, life happened. One thing after another derailed my plans and preparations. What was supposed to be an hour or so outing turned into an all-day ordeal. I didn’t make it home in time to shower, or prepare anything to bring. I even spilled coffee on me at some point, so I looked and smelled a mess.
I had a decision to make, to go with nothing and in the messy state I was in just to be with Jesus. Or I could just go home, make some excuse, even explain that my day was out of my control and I didn’t get anything together. It makes sense, you don’t just go to a potluck empty-handed, you don’t go to a dinner party smelly in dirty clothes. Jesus would understand, and so would anyone who was there.
But this is Jesus’ house, His dinner party. Even if I had to stand in a corner, and was avoided by everyone, I’d still be in His house, I’d be at His party, and I’d be having some great food. I decide to go, and drive up to His house. There are a lot of cars in the drive, and the butterflies start in my stomach. I’m sweating again, which means whatever I smell like just got worse. I wipe my hands on my dirty pants as I approach the door.
Jesus pops out of the door even before I ring the bell. He looks me over, and I see compassion, not disdain in His eyes. He pulls me into a big bear hug, and says, “Wow, you look like you’ve had a rough day. I’m glad you made it!”
“I’m sorry I’m such a mess,” I begin, “I didn’t get a chance to get home to shower and change.”
“Not a problem, just duck down the hall and you can shower in my bathroom. I’ll set out a change of clothes for you too.”
“Really?” I look at Him in shock. And then I remember. “Oh, and I didn’t get a chance to make anything either.”
Jesus guides me down the hall toward the bathroom. “That’s okay, I’ve got you covered.”
I shower, washing off the stress and frustration of my day, and when I step out, there is a fresh set of clothes. As I dress I notice that no one will miss that these aren’t mine. They have His logo, and say, “Property of Heaven” on them in big print. I put them on, and find them very comfortable, but better than what I wear.
As I step outside, I notice on a side table in the hall next to the bathroom, a crock pot, nice and warm. It smells amazing. Then I notice that this too has Jesus’ logo on it, so everyone will know it’s not mine, but His. I swallow hard, and take a deep breath. I already know there will be amazing cooks at the party, and I wanted to show that I too could cook. This is so scary. What will everyone think? I’m not wearing my clothes, so obviously I wasn’t dressed for this. I needed a shower, and I’m bringing someone else’s food. What a loser!
I breath in deep, and let it out slow. With a wry smile of resignation, I pick up the crock pot and make my way down the hall. The butterflies are back, and they’re having an airshow in my belly. I can hear the voices of people just through the end of the hall, and the airshow becomes an aerial battle, which I think I’m losing. I enter into the living room from the hall and stop in wonder.
Everyone stops and looks at me. And I look back at them. My wry smile grows warm and bright. There are at least a hundred people milling around the living room and kitchen counter. They are either carrying a crock pot, waiting to put it on the crowded counter, or have already done so and hold a nice cold drink.
Everyone is wearing a shirt like mine with Jesus’ logo and ‘Property of Heaven’ just with different colors. And the crock pots are all like mine, but with different food. It all smells amazing! The hundred or so smile at me and call out my name in greeting. I am welcome in Jesus’ home, just like everyone else.
After the amazing meal, time with Jesus and friends, and I’m wiped out, I leave for home with my new clothes. On the way out the door, I notice something I missed when I arrived. Next to the front door is a hodgepodge pile of crock pots. They’re all different.