Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
What was it like, the first time you walked in the doors of TLC? Were you nervous? Did you wonder if the service would be complicated, understandable, easy to follow? Did you worry about being judged? Would questions be tolerated? Could the traditions and the tenants of the faith be debated? Would the church seem like a private club? Would you be welcomed, even if you did not have your act together, or were in fact totally broken?
They come every week. They come every week, and when they walk in those doors, they are likely to be lonely, broken, grief-stricken, afraid, new to the island, looking for community, longing for words of grace.
They come every week. Every week new faces grace the grand bouquet of Trinity Lutheran Church. It is our calling to extend a hand, a heart, a welcome, and an invitation to everyone who musters the courage to walk in that door. Whose job is it? The greeters, the ushers, the pastor, the staff, the church council? Yes, but it is also your job. We are the church. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in this place. Hospitality is not optional, and it is not someone else’s calling. It is your calling and mine.
Can you bake cookies? Can you greet? Can you serve at the welcome table in the narthex? Can you look for unfamiliar faces and extend a heartfelt welcome? Can you enter the coffee hour looking for those who are standing alone? They come every week, and they would not come into the coffee hour if they were not looking for someone to notice them, someone to talk to.
They come every week, the children of God. God has entrusted them for an hour or so to our care. Mine is the church where everybody’s welcome. That is only true if we make hospitality and welcome the foundation of our shared ministry.
I can stand in the parking lot and greet those who come. I can try to preach the good news faithfully; I can do my part, but I need you. God needs you. Those who walk in the door need you. And the truth is, you need them too.
Either ALL are welcome or ALL will be excluded. Let’s really make TLC a church where everybody’s welcome.
One day closer,