I thank God for the privilege of serving in the Charis Fellowship over the last few years, reaching out to women and men from China who have come to Singapore to study and work. One of the privileges I have is to co-work with sister Susan Cheong and many lovely mentors from YCKC. Through them, I have seen the extravagant love that they give to our foreign brothers and sisters. The mentors eat with them, spend time with them, care for them and love them like their own family. In the unconditional love of this fellowship, I saw the love of Jesus Christ. The love of Jesus Christ that has come alive to me, that is tangible and real.
A parable was told in Luke 14. When Jesus was dining at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, he said to the host, “When you hold a banquet, do not invite your friends, brothers, rich relatives, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” (Luke 14:12-13). Why was that so? The culture then was that by accepting the banquet invitation, one is committed to invite the host to a feast in return. The feast has to be one that is as lavish or more than the banquet to which one was invited. However, the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, invited to the feast, cannot repay their host. What extravagant love that is from Jesus Christ!
In the parable, Jesus Christ is like the host who calls the poor and handicapped to Him. Jesus Christ gave of Himself freely, bore the sins of man, that all who believe in Him will have everlasting life. Just as the sick and poor recognise their need for a doctor, it is the poor and sinful people that recognise their need for a Saviour. Jesus has paid it all. Come to Jesus, who has paid it all.
Do not be like those in the parable who were too caught up with earthly concerns, like inspecting newly bought land, examining newly bought oxen or setting up a new household, and miss the opportunity to attend the banquet (Luke 14:18-21,24). Find rest in fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Finally, the banquet invitation is for all people. It is not exclusive to a certain group of people. In the parable, those who would seem to be excluded from the banquet because of their social or cultural liabilities are invited to the banquet. Who are the people in our society that seem to be marginalised, neglected or missing out on the opportunity to hear the gospel? The extravagant love of Jesus Christ is for all.
By Chen Yahui, Deaconness (YCKC Bulletin 11&12 October 2014)