Sunday, September 11, 2005

Matthew 10:40 – Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me. And anyone who welcomes me also welcomes the one who sent me. (CEV)

Usually I am friendly and welcoming to newcomers in our church. One recent Sunday, I learned something about myself. Although I casually spoke to a stranger in our midst, I did not go out of my way to make him welcome, other than to show him where the coat rack was and to make a casual comment about the weather being cool — small talk.

On reflection, something he said to me made me stop and think. When I commented that the weather was cool, he came back with, "Yes, that is outside — but it is warm in here." I replied, "I haven't noticed that yet" — and I meant the temperature, as the air conditioner was on.

Was he referring to the weather or was he referring to the warmth for which our congregation is so well known in welcoming people? I gave this further thought when I noticed in reading our guest book that he was a visiting minister from another province. Perhaps he was referring to the atmosphere within our church and not the temperature. It bothered me that perhaps my remark, making small talk, had not conveyed the warm feeling that we like to give to visitors. I slipped up. May we always welcome others to our churches and treat them as we would like to be treated.

Psalm 73:24 – Your advice has been my guide and later you will welcome me in glory. (CEV)

Prayer: Dear Father, forgive us when we fail to follow Your advice and good examples. Thank You for the assurance that Your faithful will be welcomed into Your glory. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

June Heale <jinnybug@shaw.ca>
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

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