Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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The Guest List: You ARE Invited and so is He\She!

The Guest List:
You ARE Invited and so is He\She!
Mark 16:5-7
As they [the women] entered the tomb, they saw young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter,‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
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BlogFam, I have planned a number of events, gatherings, and parties in my day and one unavoidable factor – or should I say headache [lol] - in planning is the guest list.  The guest list is a critical aspect of planning. Who should I invite?  Why should that person be included or excluded?  How will this person add to the conversation? Will this person be upset if they are not invited?  Which one of these “important” people can I leave off of this list?  Should I invite her only because I had to invite her?  Will he even be available to attend? Because, if not, I will just leave him off of the list in the first place. 
There are so many thoughts and considerations given to who is added to the guest list.  And at the end of the day, I must come back to this: This is MY event, gathering, or party and if he or she or you were not invited, that is my prerogative.  And to be very honest with you, I feel that way because while others might be offended at being left off of the list, I respect another’s choice to invite or not invite me. 
I have encountered people who are highly offended if they are not invited to certain happenings.  And this usually occurs when they believe that their relationship with the host or hostess is at a certain level such that their name would be an automatic addition to the guest list.  I really do not have that expectation.  Yes, there are certain friends or family members from whom I would definitely like to be considered but I cannot recall an instance in my adult life when I felt offended because my name was not on the guest list.  Because at the end of the day, the host or hostess invited exactly who they wanted to be there and even if there was an oversight or a missed email or a wrong number or mixed up date – things happen for a reason and we all just have to move on! 
I do not intend to sound callous but a host or hostess’ guest list is a very personal matter and whether he or she, you or I am added to it or not is their prerogative. Period.  None of us will ever be invited to everything we think we should be invited to and many of us will be surprised at the invitations we get. So, if you feel some kind of way about not being included on the guest list, throw your own shin dig and leave whoever’s name you want OFF of your list!
With all of that being said, in this text, I would not be surprised if any of us would be shocked that a particular disciple’s name was included on the guest list with emphasis, I might add. It is the same morning that the women have gone to visit the tomb of Jesus and when they arrive there is a man in a white robe to greet them.  He tells them calm down.  I know you are looking for Jesus.  Jesus is risen! He is not here.  Check it out for yourself!  And now that you see Jesus is gone from this place, there is a special meeting taking place in Galilee and you are responsible for extending invitations to the following guests. Go, tell his disciples AND PETER,‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’
I repeat. [my personal liberty with my blog]
There is a special meeting taking place in Galilee and not everyone is on this guest list.  The only people JESUS is choosing to invite to this particular meeting are his disciples AND PETER.
I can only imagine that these women were fine with the guest list including Jesus disciples but for the man in the white robe to add Peter’s name probably raised their eyebrows.  Friends, don’t even act like you have never been surprised when you heard that he or she was on the guest list.  You were invited on maybe not and either way, to now find out that he or she is on the list as well makes you feel some kind of way. Well, does it make a difference to you that Jesus predetermined this guest list?  And it was Jesus’prerogative who should and should not be invited to meet Him in Galilee.
Go, tell the disciples, AND PETER.
Peter’s name singled out in this context is significant because only two chapters earlier, in Mark 14, we read about Jesus prediction of Peter denying Jesus.  We also read that Jesus ‘prediction came true.
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes,tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”
But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”
AND a few verses later, Peter exclaimed three times – and cussin’ And the third time – “I don’t know this man you’re talking about!”
Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
Go, tell the disciples, AND PETER to meet Jesus in Galilee.
Peter’s name is included on Jesus guest list.
The one who denied his relationship with Jesus three times is invited to meet with Jesus.  The one who cussed somebody out trying to prove he had no affiliation with that crucified Nazarene is invited to meet with Jesus.  The same one who insisted emphatically that he would never disown Jesus but just a little while later broke his promise to the Lord, was indeed invited to meet with Jesus.
Go, tell the disciples, AND PETER to meet Jesus in Galilee.
Friends, I do not know how Peter felt when he got his invitation.  I can only imagine how overwhelmed he was that Jesus would call his name specifically to come to meet with Him.  I can only imagine that Peter even asked, Why me, Lord?  Why would you invite me to see your resurrected body after I outright denied you in your darkest hour?  I can only imagine how Peter felt.
My sistas and brothas, I can only imagine that Peter was so full of gratitude for the grace of His Lord had been extended to him and his name was on the Lord’s guest list.  The Lord had not forgotten Peter’s name and had mercifully forgiven Peter’s fault.  Peter, Come to me.
BlogFam, I am so grateful that it is the Lord’s prerogative that your name and my name be included on His guest list. We do not ever have to wonder if we are invited to meet with Jesus because we have a standing invitation to commune with the Lord for wherever we are,there he will be and wherever He sends us, there He will be.  So, on today, if you have ever denied Jesus by speaking or acting or thinking in ways UN-becoming of a disciple of Christ, TODAY Jesus is inviting you to meet with Him. I pray that you hear His voice in this moment and say YES, Lord, I will meet with You.  Don’t you worry about bringing anything to this meeting or trying to dress appropriately for this meeting.  YOU, just come and let Him do the rest.  Your name IS on His list and at the end of your life, His list is the only guest list that really matters.
God Loves You and I do too!
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