Rev. Daniel Eggold
Jun 22, 2020
Jeremiah 28:5–9; Psalm 119:153–160; Romans 7:1–13; Matthew 10:34–42
Jesus emphasizes many times that his disciples are his representatives in the world. When people encounter Jesus' followers, they encounter Jesus. This is a phenomenal calling that indeed points to God's grace in the lives of Jesus' followers. We couldn't possibly claim to be the presence of Jesus without the Spirit and God's grace poured on us in baptism.
One way the church helps people to know God in Jesus is by showing up,being present, engaging authentically with others. When Jesus sent his disciples out to witness to the kingdom in words and deeds, he sent them out not only to welcome others but to be welcomed.
Many of our human encounters are mediated by electronic social networks and distant forms of communication. We can lose sight of what it means to welcome others and to be welcomed in homes, at meals, or in another person's place of worship. It is humbling to allow another person to show us hospitality and grace.
When we allow others to welcome us in whatever way they do, we allow some encounter with Christ to occur. Perhaps it is meeting for coffee or going for a walk. Maybe it means going into another person's neighborhood that is new to us. Perhaps it's receiving dinner as another prepares it, humbly or extravagantly, in their home, or as we join them at their favorite restaurant.
Have you ever been invited to someone's home or event and turned them down? You may have had good reason, or maybe you just didn't feel like going. What does it mean to allow others to welcome us into their lives by accepting their invitations? It is a blessing to them. It is also, as Jesus tells us, a welcoming of God who sent Jesus and us to show love by letting others show us hospitality.
O God, you direct our lives by your grace, and your words of justice and mercy reshape the world. Mold us into a people who welcome your word and serve one another, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.