Wait for an Invitation
As I continue to study the actions of Jesus on the road to Emmaus, I recognize similar patterns in my conversations with the young adults who attend Kairos.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. (Luke 24:28-29)
Now, as Jesus completes His explanation of His life, ministry, death and resurrection from the Scriptures, He appears to be walking on—until Cleopas and his friend insist Jesus joins them for dinner.
Here’s the third lesson: Jesus waited for an invitation.
- He didn’t assume He was wanted.
- He waited to be asked.
When you think about it, this kindness of Jesus is astounding. How gracious to recognize the personal space and freedom of Cleopas and his friend. Our Lord does not barge in. He waits to be invited.
I have learned from His example. Sometimes, when I am talking to a young adult about the gospel, the story will be so new to them they will not be able to digest it all. They will want some time to think about it. So, they will create some space. Maybe they will take longer to answer a text or an email. Perhaps they will be too busy to talk for a few weeks. This used to frustrate me until I understood the lesson Jesus is teaching in this moment.
People will let you know when they are ready to go to the next level.
- Go as far as they will let you.
- Go deep into the conversation.
- Then, wait.
There are a lot of Scriptures about how God waits for us, none as dramatic as the Father waiting for the prodigal son’s return. There are times when postmodern evangelism requires waiting. But this waiting isn’t just sitting. No, while we are waiting, we pray and we study. When the invitation comes—and it most likely will—we need to be, as Jesus was, ready to continue the conversation.
Today’s assignment: Look for the invitation.
Who are you walking with? Who are you talking about real life stuff with? Have they invited you to have coffee? Hang out? Do you sense they are ready to continue the conversation? Watch for the invitation.
Or maybe you’re already deep in conversation about really significant stuff with somebody. And they’ve backed off. Wait. Pray. Pray for them and get yourself ready for what comes next. Let them process. Watch for the invitation to continue on. It will come!
I’ll be back with Lesson 4 from the Emmaus Road.
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