Extend Welcome

Sunday, June 29

6-29By Richard James, Council of Twelve Apostles

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

—Matthew 10:40–42 NRSV

I was in Independence, Missouri, for meetings, and I went to a congregation for morning worship. Following the service a family invited me to lunch. As I entered the restaurant I was surprised not only to see the family that had invited me, but a much larger and wider group of family and friends.

It was a wonderful meal, where we could talk about what was important to us as we built community. Christ was with us in our conversations.

They invited me as a stranger, and by the time the meal had ended I was part of the family. The hospitality they shared blessed me. I felt loved and accepted. I felt fed and watered physically, but the spiritual food we shared was more nourishing!

Jesus was encouraging his disciples to offer and to accept hospitality from people. When we offer a genuine welcome, when we offer the cup of cold water to someone in need, it is a blessing. The blessing is the presence of Jesus with us. When we see each other as one in Christ, as sisters and brothers, as no longer stranger but family, Christ is present in a tangible way.

Hospitality is a part of discipleship. So, whom are you going to welcome today? What hospitality are you going to receive from another person today? Prepare yourself to meet Christ in the giving and receiving!

Prayer for Peace Generous God, we praise you for open arms and open hearts; for welcoming words from smiling faces. May we be open to your Spirit and reflect it to others as we share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the friendships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will extend a warm welcome to stranger and friend alike.

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2 Comments

  1. Diane Akers

     /  29 June 2014

    Thank you for sharing Christ love so beautifully in your testimony!

  2. Adele

     /  29 June 2014

    Yes, the sharing that can take place over a meal is very enriching. Today we found ourselves warmly welcomed at the country NSW town of Berridale. Holidaying in the area, we decided to attend an Anglican service, and were warmly included in their shared meal at the church hall following the service. It is great to take time to visit, share experiences and be welcomed by strangers.

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