“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple — truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” [NRSV]
I would like to celebrate with you as new ministry. It is one with which you are actually very familiar and one you have shared with me and wit my family these past few weeks. It is the ministry of welcoming. Another name for this ministry is hospitality.
• INCLUSION: Making folks feel at home.
• CONNECTED: Helping people know they have a place at the table.
• COMMUNICATION: Give clean directions and instructions.
• RELATIONAL: Opening the door to relationship building
All this is good stuff, but it might just be a cup of cold water. Which is a starting point and not an ending point.
We feed and clothe folks if they don’t know that we do it because
1. Jesus told us to do so
2. It is an expression of God’s work and love in both their and us.
3. We may not even like the person but we love Jesus enough to get past our bias, fears and worries to share Christ
4. We help and serve because we desire relationship with God’s people. Its not just about me and God, is an us and God work.
We can do all the good works in the world but if we leave any doubt in the minds of those we serve and reach out to these kinds of core values then we have only been witnesses of kindness and NOT necessarily God at all.
I want to share the ministry of Welcoming and Hospitality on steroids.
Is anyone here thirsty. I’d like to get you a drink of water. Anyone willing to get a cup of cold water to quench your thirst?
Volunteer… Let’s step into the kitchen. We will be right back.
Water for everyone, not just one: That’s taking things to the next level.
What if we didn’t just a a couple hundred bottles of water but a few thousand bottles of water and took one to every person in a ten mile radius today and quenched their thirst for a few minutes and while they were drinking we shared with them God’s love, God desire to lead their heart and life. God desire to share a relationship with them through the church. Now that’s radical.
What if we just enjoyed the cool water ourselves and went about our business refreshed and content.
Q: Who would make certain that no one went thirsty…for God.
We all have friendly, welcoming and neighborly figured out.
What we need to work on is the RADICAL part.
Jesus Calls us to welcome the prophet and the good person…
But to also welcome everyone else..
The cup of cool water is the starting point for a thirsty generation.
What’s God doing through RSUMC?
Well it started with a bottle of water and it ended up being a living spring for the whole community to drink.
Moses leads the people of God in the wilderness and there is grumbling about having enough. Moses strikes the rock with his staff and out comes a spring of water for ALL to drink. Go and quench the thirst work…