Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Living Hospitality Matthew 10:40-42

In Matthew, following the sermon on the mount, Jesus repeatedly pushed the boundaries of fellowship and service.
He cured a lepor. Matthew 8:2-3
He ate with tax collectors. Matthew 9:9-14
As Jesus sent out his friends (Matthew 10:1-42) he ended his instructions advising his friends to both give and receive hospitality Matthew 10:40-42. These words challenge the church to open the door to those we don't know in Jesus name. Jesus friends sent to reach the lost not just the comfortable. They weren't sent into unknown places and to unknown people; they were sent to the lost who lived close at hand.

I saw this at work on Monday as our congregation welcomed the family and friends of a man I'd never met for a funeral on June 23. He was listed on our roles as a member; but he didn't attend. His brother was once a member here; but he has moved on to another town and another congregation. Other churches may refuse such a funeral; but our team didn't. The servers, ushers, and many more pitched in on two days notice. In the few days following I've had several conversations about faith that I didn't expect with people who'd just come to say good-bye.

Hospitality means opening the door and trusting that the Spirit will work through us in service. Just try it and you'll find out what God can do.

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