Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus I Come"1 (Lyrics)
Over the years, you have probably walked over many welcome mats at people's front doors. You may even have one of your own.
The mat serves a practical purpose: to clean our footwear. But if it has on it the word "Welcome", it makes a guest feel special.
Now that I live in a residence, mats are not necessary at the entrance to our individual suites. However, most residents decorate their doors, particularly during the Christmas season, with fancy decorations — usually very colourful, often ornate, but normally artificial.
However, I am particularly blessed. My eldest great-grandchild attends a school in rural Ontario. Rather than the usual fundraising by selling chocolate bars, local farmers donate fruit and vegetables for sale, and at Christmas time, genuine wreaths and decorations.
So, on my door, I have had a real wreath. I hope and pray that my greetings to all I contact are as sincere and genuine as my wreath. This desire has been reinforced by some of the different plaques that one of my friends hangs on his door. He has scores of them, and every two or three days, he puts up a different one. Some make us smile, but all make us think.
One he hangs says, "I serve three meals – frozen, microwave, take out". Since Peter used to own and operate a successful restaurant, it makes us all smile.
Another has the Serenity Prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. A third has the words of probably the most quoted verse in the Bible:
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)
But one he hung the other day really caught my attention:
- Where there is faith, there is love.
Where there is love, there is peace.
Where there is peace, there is God.
Where there is God, there is no need.
It immediately caused me to think of this famous verse:
1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)
We live in a world where there is much strife, and we know of need everywhere — sometimes far away, sometimes very close. Yet in God, we have all that we need. He is love, and we have the privilege of sharing His love with others. Indeed, it is the command of Jesus that we love God with all our hearts and that we love others as ourselves.
As I read the words on Peter's door, I am challenged, and I pray that the loving welcome that I express to all with whom I come in contact may be as genuine and sincere as the wreath that I have had on my door.
Prayer: Dear Father, help each of us to be willing and ready to genuinely and sincerely express welcome to those with whom we come in contact. Help us to recognize the great love that You shared with us in the giving of Your Son, Christ Jesus. In His name, we pray. Amen.