As we review Jesus’ version of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” I ran across this article about discovery of a “diary” from the 1st century. Here’s one entry:
I simply must tell you about the most amazing day. The barley field had recently been reaped. I was going back through the field to glean the leftover stalks. I noticed a throng of people coming down the lane, following this traveling Rabbi. I could hear them chatting about Him hosting some kind of dinner party later on at His Father’s house.
As I was standing there with my skirt in front of my robe filled with barley, He walked right up to me in the field & He simply said, “I am inviting you to come to My banquet.”
I was speechless. Here I was, my robe was dirty, my face was streaked with dust & sweat, & my hands were covered with scrapes & nicks from picking up grain from the field. I must have been quite a sight!
I was hesitant to accept His invitation. I’m not one to receive very many invitations. Why would He want me to come? Surely there are more worthy guests to be included. Maybe I should just pass.
I began to think of all sorts of excuses: I could say I needed to work more, or I could talk about repairing my cracked oven, or I could just complain that I was tired. Finally, I told Him, “I would have to come straight from the field. I wouldn’t have time to look presentable.”
He replied, “Please come as you are.”
I tried again, explaining that I wouldn’t have time to clean up. He said “Don’t worry, at the party, you’ll be washed & made like new.”
Finally, I stammered if there was anything I could bring. As the words came out of my mouth, I wanted to take them back. What could I possibly bring that would be worthy of such a costly celebration? I have nothing. I felt humbled & ashamed. He looked me in the eye & said, “Bring only yourself. You are my guest.” Then He smiled (oh what a smile He had!) and added, “Actually, it’s going to be such a nice banquet, why not invite some friends as well?”
Guess what? I’m accepting His invitation! I can’t wait to tell my friends of this amazing man. I followed Him the rest of the afternoon. The more He spoke & the more I learned about Him, the more excited I got. I am still stunned. To think He is interested in me. What a difference a day can make! It is late & time for bed. For the first time in many, many years, my heart is at peace. More tomorrow, I promise.
Editor’s Note: Gianina is Hebrew for “God is gracious.” God is gracious, indeed!