In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
“We have lights at our place. Anyone who wants to come over can!”
We were getting ready for a ministry event. I was a stagehand, helping out with the mics and equipment. The guest band for the week was one I had longed to meet. Their songs had impacted my life for years and now I would be holding their guitar, getting them ready to perform.
Then, a citywide blackout changed everything. No meet and greet. No setting up their guitars. No invitation to come on tour with them and be their best friends forever… one can dream, can’t he? Nothing. Just darkness.
Then a voice came out of nowhere, “We have lights at our place. Anyone who wants to come over can!” The voice came from the lead director of the minister, a man I had looked up to and hoped to get to know more. So I got in my car and drove to his house.
Walking in, I expected scores of people. Instead it was just the director, the band, and me. Let the insecurity begin!
Yet, over the next several hours they invited me in. Little did I know, they were all old friends. They spent much of the evening reminiscing about stories I was not a part of and laughing at jokes I did not fully understand.
Throughout it all, I was really never the center of the conversation or the focus of attention. And yet, something wonderful was happening in my heart. I was being invited into the joy, the love, and the laughter of a relationship that had existed well before I walked into the room.
Hours felt like moments. Moments held a sweetness that I still struggle to describe. These were people I had looked up to and longed to know more. Now, I wasn’t simply serving them on a stage, I was sitting with them in a living room.
However sweet this moment was, it is only a small picture of what we have in God.
God has been in relationship with himself long before you entered the picture. The Father, Son, and Spirit, fully loving one another before you were you, time was time, and space was space. Before all things, God simply was. God was enjoying the joy, the love, and the laughter of himself in the persons of the Trinity.
The beauty of our God is that he overflows this love into creation and into his creatures. God’s love was too sweet not to share with others, so he created others to share his love with. C.S. Lewis calls the Trinity “the great dance of God.” A dance he is now inviting us into.
As we enter into a relationship with God, we are not merely invited into a posture of serving God, but of sitting with God. We are first and foremost called to “be with him.” Creation is an invitation from God to us, that “the lights are on and anyone who wants to come over can.” Creation is God inviting us into a relationship that has existed before us, is not about us, and yet we receive the benefit of the joy, the love, and the laughter of the God who is.
Hours after sitting and soaking in that moment, I got in my car with my heart full but a question I could not escape, “Why hadn’t anyone else come?” I called some friends and the answer was the same across the board, “I had other things to do… in a blackout.” They sat in darkness, while I enjoyed the light of fellowship.
The invitation of God remains, “We have lights at our place. Anyone who wants to come over can!” Jesus is the light of the world, shining in the darkness, inviting humanity back home to God. The only question that remains is, “How will you respond?”