A Wide Open Welcome

September 5, 1998

Psalm 150:1 – Praise ye the Lord; Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in the firmament of his power. (KJV)

The weather was hot and humid during a summer visit to a city in Ontario. In that kind of heat, clothes stick to you almost as soon as they are put on. Workers rush past on the street and are too hot to smile. People are crammed up against each other in stinky, stuffy streetcars. Some sleep, some stare, and there too, few smile.

It was one such day that my daughter and I stepped off a stuffy streetcar almost into the wide open doors of a huge old stone church welcoming any or all to come inside.

They were celebrating their 131st anniversary and every door was swung wide open. The bells chimed the hour and people sauntered reverently into the sanctuary. They would stop and stare in awe as the sun shone through the many magnificent stained glass windows, illuminating the walls, the ornate ceiling, the powerful pipes and organ, and the rich wooden pews, most of which were self-contained with a little gate. Families had paid for the privilege to sit in those pews in years gone by. Nowadays, most were occupied by whomever chose to sit in them.

We sat, we knelt, we contemplated. We offered many prayers of thanks.

It's nice to see a church with open doors instead of locked ones. It's nice to see smiles instead of frowns of indifference. We must also know that God always has a "Wide Open Welcome" for us, and that he has given each of us the ability to be his "Wide Open Welcome" to others, whether it's smiling at someone who's sweltering in the heat, or listening to the lady in a lineup or the old gentleman in a coffee shop.

Prayer: We thank you Lord, for the power of an open door. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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