Monday, July 1, 2019

Ushers and Bouncers

By Andrea Merrell

  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
And let the one who hears say, “Come!”
Let the one who is thirsty come;
and let the one who wishes 
take the free gift of the water of life.
Revelation22:17 NIV

Eyes grow wide. Backs stiffen. The elbowing and whispering begin. The ushers are on high alert.

I’ve seen it so many times in the church. In walks the young man with spiked hair and tattoos covering his arms and neck. Then there’s the teenage girl with the too-short skirt, cropped shirt, and more facial piercings than anyone could count. Sometimes it’s the older gentleman with ragged shorts and alcohol on his breath.

The sad part is watching how people respond to these “strange” visitors. Why are they strange? Because they’re not like us and anyone outside our norm threatens our peace of mind.

Too many times, the judgmental side takes over. Instead of ushering these folks in and showing them the love of God, we want to bounce them back out the door.

In Love Does, author Bob Goff says:

When you read the Bible, the people who loved Jesus and followed Him were the ones like me who don’t get invited places. Yet Jesus told His friends they were invited anyway. He told them that the religious people weren’t the ones who decided who got into heaven and who didn’t. He said the people who followed Him should think of themselves more like the ushers rather than the bouncers, and it would be God who decides who gets in. We’re the ones who simply show people their seats that someone else paid for.

God’s invitation is to whosoever will. There are no dress codes or politically correct rules to follow. He simply says come.

(Photo courtesy of and vectorolie.)



  1. Great devotion, Andrea. I read Love Does a while back and really like Bob Goff's message. Your devotion ties his quote together nicely. It's a message we all need to hear from time to time.

  2. Thanks, Sheryl! Don't you just love Bob Goff? He's one of my favs. Happy Fourth! :)