We Welcome our Brothers & Sisters
Dec 20, 2016
Next week we will gather with many of our beloved brothers and sisters whom we haven't seen for a while. This is a day to rejoice in, not to complain about. It means certain inconveniences such as losing your butt worn pew space and perhaps even having to sit in a different section of the church. Jesus seems pretty stuck on the idea that those who we think will be last in the Kingdom of God will actually be the first. He will say it is the tax collectors and prostitutes who recognized him better than others (Mt 21:30) and thus they will be first in His Kingdom. Once they recognize Jesus in their lives and found the freedom of His love, they were already experiencing here on earth the joys of heaven. This coming weekend should be a good testing of our being followers of Jesus as we extend our welcome to all those we haven't seen since Easter time.
It is also a time when whole families gather together to pray in thanksgiving for the gift of the Incarnation; so be quick to check any sense of judgement; it could be our senior member's families and friends who belong to other churches, but are visiting their grandparents to spend this wonderful day with them.
Then there are the brothers and sisters who haven't been inside of a church in a little while. These we should try to charm with the best hospitality possible so that they will feel welcome to come back as they are able. No one should enter or leave our church feeling judged or condemned. That technique for control has never worked. It brought about the Protestant reformation and continues to divide families and others on a regular basis. Next week we celebrate the One who comes to bring us all together in love. He is Emmanuel: God who is with us. The scriptures never put a singular when they speak of God; in other words; It isn't God who is with Mike Anderson and no one else; but it is God who is with everyone. Let us celebrate the reality in our care for each other in these holy days.
Merry Christmas!!! May God bless you during this holiday season!