One of my favourite verses is Luke 14:22. In this passage, Jesus shares a parable of who’s invited to God’s banquet table. His audience, the Pharisees, believed they were part of the “in” crowd who got to be around the banquet table. However, in this parable, the owner ends up sending his servants to invite those on the streets to attend. Then comes v. 22, where the servant says to his master, “What you ordered has been done, but there is still room.” So the master sends the servants into the reaches of the city and beyond to invite others to the banquet table.
During our retreat season, it would be easy to say, “The deadline was last Monday. Sorry, you can’t go to Blizzard.” It would be much simpler and neater on our registration system. Yet we realize that’s not always how things work. There are circumstances which may not have allowed a student to attend but now a door has opened for them to come. To which we strive to say, “There is still room!”
Will it be messy? (Of course.) Does it cause headaches or hair loss? (Why stop now?) Every single additional person isn’t another number; that person is another lost sheep Jesus reaches out towards to invite them into a deeper relationship with him. Isn’t that always worth making room for?