Stand and Join

My mom took me to the Dixie Stampede for a birthday getaway.  Over the years, trips to Dixie Stampede has served as a marker of different “eras” of my life.

In case you don’t live by a Dixie Stampede, it’s a huge theater arena split into two sides, the North and the South.  As you watch a variety show, the two sides compete to win contests like a wagon race, piggy race, and horseshoes—with help from the audience.

The rivalry is amped up until the very end of the show, when the final game is played and the winning side announced.  Then the mood changes.  The song Color Me, America is sang and the audience stands for the presentation of the flag.

My heart ached and yearned and burned as we stood and I looked around at the sea of united people.  I thought about Heaven, and how one day I will stand with people from every age and every land who gave their allegiance to Christ in this life.

As my eyes glanced from person to person, I thought about my friends and my family, and how I want every single one of them to be in Heaven with Jesus.  I thought about how I want everyone to be in Heaven with Jesus!  I want every person who is still alive or is yet to be born to unify under the banner of Christ.  I want no one to miss out on the mercy we can receive through Jesus Christ.

All my friends, stand and join the family of Christ.

All my family, stand join the family of Christ.

All who live in my city, stand and join the family of Christ.

All who live in my country, stand and join the family of Christ.

All who live in my world, stand and join the family of Christ.

Come—all of you—come from homes and streets, hotels and huts, apartments and railroad tracks, caves and mansions.

Come—all of you—come from nursing homes and universities, hospitals and prisons, military barracks and monasteries, orphanages and businesses.

Come—all of you—come from cities and villages, farms and skyscrapers and suburbs and shelters, ghettos and mansions.

Come—all of you—come from every language and come from every land.

Come to the only banquet in the world where everyoneEVERYONE—is invited.  Come to the only banquet in the universe where the dinner is paid—PAIDfor all who will come.

Please come.

I want to stand with you.

And Christ Jesus wants you there.

He told his servant, ‘Run to every street and alley in the city! Bring back the poor, the handicapped, the blind, and the lame.’ “The servant said, ‘Sir, what you’ve ordered has been done. But there is still room for more people.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go to the roads and paths! Urge the people to come to my house. I want it to be full. (Luke 14:21b-23, GW)

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1, ESV)

On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! (John 7:37, ISV)

Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, AKJV)

I will give those who are weary all they need. I will refresh everyone who is filled with sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:25, GW)

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9, NLT)

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Photograph by David Woo, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/mckln/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

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Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 11:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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