And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus.

Luke 5:18

In the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy sets out to find the wizard who can help her get back home. Along the way she runs into a collection of lost souls who are in desperate need of repair. At each encounter Dorothy is so certain of the wizard’s help that she happily invites the other misfits onto the yellow brick road with her to find the one who can heal them all. 

I could see another less generous scenario for this story playing out where Dorothy keeps her hopes secret out of fear; the fear of looking like a fool for believing in a wizard, or the fear of sharing this wizard’s power with someone else who might take all he has to give and leave her with no way home. This seems like a more cynical if not natural state of mind for the modern traveler of the journey of life. We find hope and encouragement in worshipping together and hearing the word of God preached, but it’s almost too fantastical when we try to explain it. Why would anyone come along, we reason. But the thing I love about Dorothy is that her faith was so inextricably attached to the joy of her coming salvation that she invited every lost soul to come with her to find a bit of that hope. She didn’t even know for sure if the wizard would help, but she was certain they deserved the chance to see, and so she invited each lovable misfit along the way, and as her little tribe grew, so did her joy. Together they traversed poppy fields, flew with monkeys and conquered the witch, things which you may never have to do. But inviting others to congregate together with you and your family of God is remaining faithful to God’s call on our lives to not keep His love to ourselves, but to invite other misfits and sinners along to experience God’s glory. 

Questions to ponder

Who is someone that you care about that could use a church family in their life? Name them!

What is your main hesitation or fear for not inviting them?

Who was instrumental in inviting or welcoming you into your church family? Take time today to thank them!

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