Archive for October 11th, 2009
Oct 11 RADICAL Hospitality: Providing MORE than our needs... Dt 24.10-22, Ro 12:9-21, Lk 7:36-47
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
What would make you feel most welcome to come to a new church for the first time?
Some have been a faithful member here for so many seasons,
the new is far, away. but imagine..
not knowing anyone, not knowing what will happen, when. Will you know the songs? Will you fit in?
What if someone greeted you in a warm and friendly way.
That’s just what the ushers are suppose to do..
What if I sit in someone’s unmarked official seat..
What if I have a bulletin to tells what is going to happen.
Every church has those.
What if they singled you out as a visitor and made a fuss about you? Maybe I can leave…
What if you could slip out during the last hymn before they tried to get my phone number and call me all the time?
What if a dozen people took the time to greet me?
What if someone ask me to sit with them?
What if someone gave up their bulletin so I would have one? What if someone showed me where the restroom was before I had to ask?
What if they introduced you to someone to someone my age, who has children even though their children are grown.
What if someone told me what you LIKE about the preacher, choir when it practices, what children youth director, etc.
What if someone gave you some money to put in the offering so they didn’t feel they had to….
explain what the service si like, traditions
inside story on the old ladies, other old ladies..
invited you to fellowship or lunch…
The woman greets Jesus at the house of a pharisee, stands behind, knelling at this feet, weeping-understanding, grieving morning, wipes with her hair… kissed his feet, unclean, wastes perfume on him… He should know.
Jesus replies, I came to Simon’s House, he did not great him.
He did not give water, she has given tears, as from the passover,
You did not greet me with a kiss, she has not stopped kissing
You did not put oil on my head, she has perfumed my dirty, sweaty feet. Her many sins are forgiven. He makes no mention of their lack of hospitality….
Hospitality for the Sinner: Sure the good and righteous are welcome, safe and easy.
But what of the sinner. The unclean, un-welcomed, un-invited, un-known, un-friendly,
Radical hospitality in not only going way out of our way to make those who are most similar to us welcome
Radical hospitality is removing every barrier from welcoming others into the fellowship…
Those who don’t even know they want to even think about coming to any church much less ours.
Those who haven’t been to church in years, or ever.
Those who don’t dress like we might, or live in houses like ours.
Every week we through a dinner party, who do we invite? who do we work to extend an invitation? who do we offer a ride? who do we go out of our way to make sure they actually show up…
THAT IS RADICAL…
Than is hospitality
That is what this sinner does for Christ…
So what’s our next dinner party going to be like?
Are we exclusive? Are we inclusive?
Are we serious? Are we comfortable?
Are we expecting easy and safe and what is in it for us?
Are church as Christ’s body? Are we in it for OUR body? or open to any body?