Our Mission and Our Challenge

Posted by on Jun 28, 2020 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on Our Mission and Our Challenge

Welcome to the 4th Sunday after Pentecost. Dear Lord…we have been learning about how you instructed the disciples as they were to go out to minister to the people in Israel and bring them to your truths. Be with us as we, too, have been called to bring people to you for the transformation of the world. It seems to be a difficult task right now, O Lord…but we know you are with us. You will strength us. You will help us bring your love to our world. Be with us this morning and every day, Lord as we meet your challenge and work to bring people to your love, forgiveness and grace. Amen. Our gospel reading for today is from Matthew 10:40-11:1. In this portion of Matthew 10, we find Jesus instructing the disciples on the importance of welcoming people into their world. It makes no difference what size this world is…the importance is that the disciples welcome people into their world….the people they are welcoming will also be welcomed into God’s family, that includes God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is telling the disciples and us, that everyone can offer hospitality and be welcoming. We do not have to be missionaries…we welcome people as we are. So…let’s look at what “real hospitality” is. This is accepting a stranger into our own home and our lives. Think about that. Real hospitality is accepting a stranger into our home and our lives. I’m sure you can all think of a time you have done this. How did you feel? What was the reaction of the person you welcomed? There is the word “patronage” to describe what Jesus is talking about. This definition is not about shopping at a certain place, this is not backing a certain person or party to get favors, etc. The Biblical definition we are considering is a relationship between social unequals where all people are welcomed, regardless of looks, culture, experiences, careers, education, etc. Jesus means we are to welcome and be hospitable to ALL people. Have you ever been in line to purchase something and suddenly you are told that everything you have in your cart has been paid for? What was your reaction? Were you even able to thank the person who paid for your items? How about when you were in line at McDonald’s to get a lunch or snack and found out that it had been paid for when you reached the window to pay? What did you feel at that time. Have you done the same thing for someone? This is the type of hospitality our Lord was talking about. In other words, in Jesus’ definition of hospitality, reciprocation shows the same hospitality given to each other. To put it more emphatically, God has given us love and forgiveness and we are to give it to other people in His world. In the time we are currently experiencing, I know how hard it has been to not be able to see people in person. I guess that is why I like to call what we are experiencing “physical distancing” as we still need to be social and communicate with people. What stories can you think of that you have heard of kindnesses people have offered to others? Didn’t it make your heart feel warm when you heard of the feeding and care for first responders and medical personnel? What about all of the reaching out our churches have done to church members in ways we never thought possible before? We have been “socially together” while physically apart. These...

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June 2020


Pastor’s Blog