Friday, 21 June 2013

Friday - welcoming and hospitality

Prayer:   Jesus,  as You wept over Jerusalem,  so too do we weep over the Church.   Revive us so that we open the doors of the Church for those in our community who need rest and to abide in You.  Revive us so that we take Your love out into the community by feeding and clothing the poor,  taking care of the prisoner,   looking after the afflicted,  and remembering the old.    This we ask in Your name.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 19: 41 – 44

As Jesus approaches Jerusalem,  he weeps for the people and for what could have been.    What must the disciples have thought as Jesus wept?   Did they go over to him and comfort him or did they stand back and shuffle their feet not knowing what to do?
Jesus says,  “If you had only recognized this day,  and everything that was good for you!  But now it’s too late.  In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you,  pressing in from every side.   They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement.  Not one stone will be left intact.  All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.”  (Luke 19: 42 – 44 The Message  NavPress, 2005)

And Jesus wept over what could have been.  The religious community in Jerusalem is not ready for the redemption of God.      Does Jesus weep over our Church this day?   Does Jesus weep over what could have been with our Church and denomination?
Something to think about!

Jesus states that the religious community in Jerusalem did not recognize nor welcome God’s personal visit.   How do we welcome people in our denomination and churches today?   When a person is new to a Church,  hospitality is the first thing a new person will either find or not find in a Church.      In a church that has many members,  it is so important for the greeters at the door to know who is a visitor and who is a member. 

How does your church make visitor’s welcome?    Are they able to identify a visitor and then the visitor is shown around the church (coffee area and Sunday school and bathrooms)?     Is there a written record made of the visitor’s address?   Is the visitor’s book visible?   

Prayer:   Great God,  open to us again Your gift of hospitality.   May all Churches in all denominations be open to Your gift of hospitality.   May all  those who come to Church  -- both old members and new visitors -- find their souls refreshed in Your love and delight in Your presence.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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