The Minister writes

All are welcome!            

Dear All,

There’s a wonderful passage in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 14:1, 7-14) which encourages us to think deeply about hospitality.  At a Dinner Party that Jesus was invited to, Jesus tells a story about humility and hospitality.  I suspect it was quite a shocking and surprising parable for the host and his esteemed guests to hear!  I think that there is also a real challenge for us in the story about how we welcome, love, include and honour people.   

The story invites us to think about how good we are at doing this.  Of course, sometimes in the busyness of life (family, Church, work, study, school, hobbies, chores, appointments and all the rest!), it can seem as though there is no time to squeeze in anything, or anyone else.  But let’s think for a moment about the places and people we spend time with  every day, and yes, perhaps given the context of this Gospel story, we should think about the people we share our meals with.  But reflecting more broadly, let’s also think about the people we are with in all the things we do.  Are there people who might need a special invitation to join in with a meal or with whatever we are doing that others could share in or with some aspect of our Church life?  Shall we keep a look out for people who might need our hospitality, invitation and warm welcome?  Shall we be sure to offer any invitation with love and kindness,  and importantly, with full inclusivity firmly in our minds?  So we consider, who might need our invitation? 

As we, with God’s gracious help, grow in our welcome, love and humility, our attitude towards other people will change so that this welcoming way becomes our way every day!  We’ll discover fresh opportunities to notice people and make time for them.  We’ll think more about how we can invest well in our relationships, both with those closest to us and with those we meet in the different aspects of our lives, including in our Church.  We’ll become more intentional about creating a Church community which is welcoming and inclusive.  And so as we develop in this way, God’s hospitality, where we not only take time to notice others but also make room for them to belong, will be life changing for us as well.

So in closing, we consider what do we need to do to be those who offer a welcome and generous hospitality to all?  And who might need our loving invitation?  After all, all are welcome!

Every blessing,

               :  Andrew's signature