'Master,' the slave said, 'what you ordered has been done, and there's still room.'Then the master told the slave, 'Go out into the highways and lanes and make them come in, so that my house may be filled.' - Luke 14:22-23
The second week at Pilgrim Dinners was an instance of God’s sovereign grace.
At 7 of the clock, when dinner was meant to start, we had zero guests. Seven happy team members doing last minute prep, one happy team member playing lovely live music, but zero guests. ‘It’s ok, it’s only 7,’ thought I.
Fast-forward all of five minutes, to 7:05, and we had… zero guests. At this point, hope flagged. “Praise God we had people last week,” I thought, “maybe God gave us those folks to encourage us to endure a week with no one?” Not much of a pump up.
Jump with me forward another five minutes, to 7:10 on the clock, and... zero guests. We had some very tasty food plated and ready, a great vibe to the room, and I’d prepped a talk on Faith which (rarely for me) I was feeling I’d really nailed in the writing, but… we had no guests. We had our posters up across the valley, we’d fliered backpackers, and sent cars to shuttle guests from the two hostels, but… no guests. None, zip, zero.
“Ok,” thought I, “let’s sit down, and I’ll give the talk to the team. It’ll be good for us too."
And then, out of the nowhere, praise to God, 12 people appeared: 8 Japanese travellers, a couple from Korea, a guy from the Netherlands, and an Aussie youth. And the twenty of us + kids sat down and did Pilgrim Dinners, with a great discussion after.
Now where did these folks come from? Very much God’s sovereign grace through one tenacious team member, who did not lose hope but like the slave in Luke 14 kept going out asking folks to join us, long after we were meant to start. She even braved the local bus stop and asked some hoodied youths to join us (hence our lone Aussie, who was more scared of us than we of him, considering his friends had to dare him to come, and they kept checking on him to see that he was still alive).
It was a great night, for which we praise God and have learned a good lesson - keep asking. And so we pray and ask again for guests to come each Thursday to Pilgrim Dinners, so that one day they would fill our Father's house at the Great Banquet.