You can be a living invitation from the greatest Host of all time
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Happy Saturday, Cara.

Today I invited Cara Blondo to share some biblical advice to help you invite others to behold Jesus this holiday season. I love how timely and practical her words are! May we all learn to love, look, and lean this Christmas. -Sarah Koontz

I laid in bed with my young son one cold winter’s night, the glow of the candles in his windows casting a warm light in the otherwise darkened room.

He pointed to the brighter candle, asking, “Is that candle actually brighter or does it just look that way?”  

Looking at the two candles, I noticed that the difference was not in the candles but rather in the blinds: one blind was more tightly closed than the other.

I explained, “You see more light from that candle because those blinds are opened more.”

The more open the blinds, the more light that shines.

I recalled the words spoken by Jesus, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden” (Mt 5:14).  

I wondered: How am I living? Are the “blinds” of my life tightly shut?

Or am I living in such a way that would be likened to those opened blinds, where the light shone brightly and lit up the darkened room?  

Like open blinds, we are called to live open lives that allow and invite the people around us to see and experience the love of Jesus.

This idea of living with the blinds open is the essence of what it means to live out loud.

It is simply to live in such a way that invites others to experience the love and goodness of Christ, whether through extending an invitation into my home or into my day, however brief the interaction may be.

It may be shining the light of Christ through sharing a meal or an uplifting word.

It may take place in my home or on a soccer field, a checkout line, or wherever else I may be at any given time.  

It’s not a matter of my location but rather that of my heart.  In other words, it's changing how I think in order to adopt a mindset of a hostess.

A hostess is defined as “a woman who receives or entertains guests.” (Oxford Dictionary)

Is it possible to be a woman who receives others regardless of her surroundings, perfect home decor, and five-star meals?  

Mary, the mother of Jesus, causes us to conclude that, yes, it is possible!

Whether shepherds or wise men, Mary received guests, allowing the Light of the world to be seen in the flesh even if in a lowly, unkempt stable (Mt 2:10-11).

By receiving these guests and inviting them to enter into imperfect conditions, they were given the opportunity not only to see Christ but to worship, adore, and even tell others about Him.

Before any major holiday, the number one question I’m asked is: “Are you hosting?”  The meaning behind the question is, “Are you having everyone to your house? Are you cooking a big meal?”  

Let’s change this meaning to reflect the way in which Mary hosted and received guests.  

We have the opportunity to be hostesses who welcome and invite others to see Jesus.  

Three easy-to-remember ways we can invite people to behold Jesuscausing them to feel warm, welcome, and wantedare to love, look, and lean.

  1. Love the Lord (Mt 22:37).

When we visibly love the Lord, with the blinds of our lives open, living in response to His love, it affects those around us.  Living in His love is the best way to adapt the mindset of a hostess, regardless of location or conditions, because there is no end to His love.  As you bask in His love, it will flow through you and touch those around you.  

  1. Look Around (Mt 9:36-38).

The Lord’s invitation to us is to “Come.” He said, “Come,” to the sinner, the searcher, the tired, the thirsty, and the hungry. To all who would listen, He said, “Come to Me.” I am continuously around the sinner, the searcher, the tired, the thirsty, and the hungry.  That means we are near the very ones Jesus would invite to come to Him. Will we extend our hands and our time to welcome them, offering them the opportunity to see Jesus and His love for them?

  1. Lean Into Jesus (Ps 71:6).

Do we say “come to Jesus” not only with our lips but, more importantly, with our lives? Do we welcome those who think, look, and act differently than ourselves? As we lean into Jesus, coming to Him and continuing to come to Him, we become more like Him, resulting in a life that truly is becoming of Christ, allowing us to earnestly extend the greatest invitation of all time to those around us.

May I ask, are you an everyday hostess? Not for the big upcoming meal or family gathering. Rather, are you embracing the mission and mindset of a hostess for Christ?

You can be a living invitation from the greatest Host of all time, with the most important invitation ever extended, to the greatest celebration the world will ever know.

“At the time of the banquet, he sent his slave to tell those who were invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’” - Luke 14:17 HCSB

- Cara Blondo
Cara Blondo has served the Lord for more than twenty years, having been trained in full-time college ministry as a college missionary. She has since served in her local church in various capacities, including the counseling ministry, young moms group, and women's ministry, where she continues to teach Bible studies. Cara has been married for more than twenty years and has four children. She would love to connect with you on her blog, Instagram, or Facebook.
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