Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you. – Romans 15:7
My parents taught me early in life that you put out new, clean bath towels when someone is coming to visit your home. How about you? These towels might be quite fancy or they might not. For sure these “guest” towels are clean and fresh smelling. Importantly, well before guests are expected to arrive the daily family bath towels are put away and the new towels are put on the towel bars.
We treat our guests with special care, don’t we? We do our best to be hospitable. We welcome our guests into our homes with smiles and open arms. We put out clean towels…hoping they might notice how much we care for them.
Of course, hospitality is important at church as well. As members of this congregation we understand that we are gathered not for our sakes but for the well being of our neighbors. Indeed, this church exists to reach out to others with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We welcome others whom God gathers with us, that we may together better understand God’s unconditional love for all of creation. We know this.
We also know that God calls us to step beyond our comfort zones and to join with our families as well as our neighbors in celebration and in times of burden. We focus on sharing God’s love in every situation in which we find ourselves. We share God’s love especially when we invite others to join with us in worship.
My friends, take a moment and pray about how we can, how you can, extend a personal invitation to a family member or neighbor to join with us in worship on a Sunday morning this summer. Consider how we can, how you can, put out “guest towels” that others may know how welcomed they are here at Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church.
On Sunday also take a moment to meet someone you may not know…learn their name…invite them into conversation. Let them know they are special, important and cared for…as you are.
Together share the love of God. Together experience the joy of our Lord.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve