Saturday, 15 February 2014

Saturday - hospitality

Prayer:  Sing a new song to the LORD for the LORD has done marvellous things.  All the ends of the world have seen God’s marvellous things.   I sing and rejoice and give thanks this day for all of Your glory and love to me.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

  This past week we have been focusing on James’ last advice for the new Christian community.  And this advice is still powerful for us today.   Even in the early Church,  people left the Christian Community.  It happens.  People also leave the Church today.  We never really know why people leave the Church.  Whether it is over a Policy Debate or a Religious Belief  or perhaps they are not asked to use their gifts to help further the Kingdom of God.  People still do leave the Church.

Remembering people who have left the Church is a huge part of hospitality,  graciousness, and often forgiveness.    Sometimes we offer the forgiveness, sometimes they offer the forgiveness but  being able to forgive comes out of our love of God.   And by showing our great love for God, we end up sharing hospitality.

With this idea of hospitality, reflect upon the following questions:

1.  What has been the greatest hospitality you have ever received?

2.  What does the word hospitality mean to you?

3.  How do we as a congregation share our hospitality with new people?

4.  How do we as a congregation show hospitality to ourselves?

5.  What is our Church presently doing to share hospitality with the community?

Now that you have thought about hospitality,  take five minutes and lift up in prayer one family that has left the Church you attend.        Great God,   I give You thanks and praise for the  ________________ family.   May You provide them with Your great love and surround them with Your mercy.  Help them as they are in pain or frustrated with Your Church to know Your great joy.    This day and every day be with them O Lord in all that they do.  May You use me to reach out to them and let them know that Your Church still loves them.   In the silence of my heart, O God,  show me how to be Your love in hospitality to this family.     In Christ’ name I pray.  Amen. 

Prayer is action.  As we pray,  great things happen.  Maybe not immediately,  maybe not for years and years but something does happen.     

This week,  listen to the silence of your heart for God’s words to help this family.  Perhaps by sending the family a “thinking of you” card.  Perhaps by phoning up the family and inviting them for coffee and time to talk.   Tell them that you have missed them.

Prayer:  Use me this week O LORD as Your hands in this world.  Use me this week O LORD as Your eyes to see the world clearly.  Use me this week O LORD as Your body to help with the needs of the world.  Use me this week O LORD as your ears to hear You.  This I ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


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