Rev. Chelsea Simon
Sunday, September 1, 2019 at 9:00am and 10:30am
As we continue in our series of "Planning the Party", I began thinking about hospitality and to whom we show hospitality towards. Hospitality is an important word in the Christian community. Typically, we use it to mean welcome. But the word is really so much richer than that. Hospitality really engages our whole selves and the other's whole self. When fully embraced, hospitality can transform the ways in which we view and interact with others. It changes relationships.
In most cases, we reserve hospitality for those who might look like us. It is reserved for those who go to the same schools, same places of worship, same grocery stores. But when we limit our hospitality, we miss out.
In Henri Nouwen's fantastic book called Reaching Out he says, "In our world full of strangers, estranged from their own past, culture, and country, from their neighbors, friends and family, from their deepest self and their God, we witness a painful search for a hospitable place where life can be lived without fear and where community can be found."
Friends, we get to combat that narrative with a community of radical hospitality. Where anyone can come and expect to find a safe place in which they can rest and breathe and possibly even become friends. And Jesus gives us instructions on how to do this. He says, "Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You'll be-and experience-a blessing."
I hope we won't miss out. I hope we can be and experience God's blessing. Who might you invite this week?