Today’s hymn “Jesus, come, for we invite you” is based on the story of the wedding feast at Cana when Jesus turned a large quantity of water into the finest wine. The story is often understood in a symbolic sense as promising that Jesus would bring what he himself called “abundant life” or “fullness of life” – life as God intended it to be, in harmony with God, with nature and with other people. That phrase doesn’t appear in the words of the hymn, although the first verse refers to “joy restored”.
The last verse asks him to make us “willing to receive” – an important point, that, as God always offers good things but it is we who are often slow to receive. George Herbert’s famous poem “Love bade me welcome” explores this in more depth, the idea that sinful people feel unworthy to accept God’s good gifts.
What is it that we are invited to receive, according to the hymn? “more than we can imagine, all the best you have to give, your hidden riches”. We are invited to “taste [his] love, believe and live!” Going back to the Cana story, maybe the message is that we should treat Jesus’s offer of fullness of life like a glass of the finest wine served at a wedding – who could refuse to share the joy of the occasion or the sheer sensual pleasure of the drink, and knowing there is no charge to us because the proud father bears all the cost?