Posts Tagged hospitality

Luke 10:38-42 The Better Part

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” [NRSV]


It does not take much to distract me.

1. New Study on Multitasking from Forbes 15 point loss on IQ  Stanford major degradation

2. Recent Study on ADHD from Fox/Reuters 14% boys and 6% girls

3. Article: Fascinating Email Facts and Statistics

       Statistics, extrapolations, and counts by the Radicati Group found the following:

    • Over half of the world population uses email in 2019.
    • The number of worldwide email users is expected to grow to over 4.3 billion by the end of 2023.
    • The total number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will exceed 293 billion in 2019 and is forecast to grow to over 347 billion by the end of 2023.
    • DMR has curated these other fascinating tidbits about email:
    • The first email system was developed in 1971.
    • Each day, the average office worker receives 121 emails.
    • The click-through rate for email sent in North America is 3.1%.
    • The average click-through rate on desktop computers is 13.3% and, on mobile devices, it’s 12.7%.
    • The average amount of overall emails opened on desktop computers is 16%, on mobile devices is 55.6%, and on webmail is 28%.
    • The Apple iPhone email client is used most, followed by Gmail.
    • The open rate increases by 17% when the subject line is personalized.
    • Forty-two percent of Americans admit to checking email in the bathroom, and 50% do so while in bed.
    • The average open rate for retail emails is 20.96%, and for political emails is 22.23%.
    • The top spam content category in 2017 was healthcare, followed by malware.
    • The top reason U.S. internet users unsubscribe from email lists is, “I get too many emails in general.”
    • 99Firms has its own curated list that includes the following facts:
    • Despite the rise of social messaging apps, 78% of teenagers use email.
    • A majority (62.86%) of business professionals prefer email to communicate for business purposes.
    • Ninety percent of workers check their personal email at least every few hours.
    • Email click rates increase by up to 300% if a video is included.
    • The best times to send email are 10:00 AM or between 8:00 PM and midnight; the best days are Thursday and Sunday.



[1] The person really doesn’t like you.

[2] They are getting back at you for ignoring one of their text messages.

[3] They find your text message dialogue really boring and are on social media looking for something better to distract themselves with.

[4] They are playing mind games with you, full well knowing that by keeping you waiting for a response will cause you bitter frustration and they get a kick out of it.

[5] They are lazy and don’t respect you enough to respond to you.

[6] Very rarely, but some times, their battery dies. This is usually an excuse……go back to reason number 5.

[7] Some people work for a living, get off their back! They are WORKING… smarten up, the world doesn’t revolve around you.

[8] They just installed the new iOS and lost all their contacts (yes, even your precious contact info). They don’t recognize your number and are worried that your text might be from that person they gave their number to the night before.

[9] They are upset with you and decide to be passive aggressive with you instead of facing the problem head on up in a mature forward thinking fashion.

[10]… and finally… did you actually check to see if you pressed send after you finished writing your emotionally charged message? This is the worst feeling ever and really makes you look at yourself as a super self-centered individual, realizing that you are the only one to blame for getting all upset over nothing.

  1. 50% of the world has an email account. 86% USA 17% read more than 3 second/per.
  2. 97% who have cel phone carry them with them. 62% ignore half of their text
  3. How long before we begin speaking in response? 200 milliseconds


The one thing is being connected to God. We do this in many ways, but its the one thing.

Mary is choosing to focus and listen

Martha is choose to control, prepare, define, assume, look from martha’s perspective and not Jesus’s


The better part are the choices we make to be

    • unplugged from TV and politics,
    • unplugged from working when we need Sabbath Rest.
    • setting down the technology and to-do lists and listening to God so that we don’t miss God in our presence, in our homes, in our daily moments.

Action: moving toward God through worship, service, and devotion

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Luke 2:1-11 Wedding Wine

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, andthe mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invitedto the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him,”They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, whatconcern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mothersaid to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standingthere were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holdingtwenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars withwater.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Nowdraw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where itcame from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the stewardcalled the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good winefirst, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But youhave kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of hissigns, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believedin him. [NRSV]

The Serving the Best Stuff

In John’s Gospel, it is no random mistake that we see Jesus beginshis ministry of miracles, celebration and salvation on the third day.

On the third day… in creation, God creates that seas and the dry land and places trees and vegetation of every kind with it’s seed, and declares it to be good.

On the third day, Mary and the other women arrive at the empty tomb and experience the reality of the resurrection and become the first witnesses and evangelist of the resurrection.

On the third day of Jesus’s public ministry follows the calling and gathering of his disciples and they are invited to a wedding.

Why is Running Out of Wine Important?

This is remembered as the wedding where they ran out of wine. Some had said they were not planning for all of Jesus’s disciples and only added them at the last minute and the twelve extra families overwhelmed the plus-two budget when Jesus shows up as Mary’s plus-one with a plus-two dozen. This might explain why Mary turns to Jesus to fix the problem.

INTRO Mary introduces Jesus as a problem solver to community.

What is the problem? It is more than a lack of wine, it is a matter of hospitality. Mary empathizeswith the bride and groom and family and knows that a shortage of wine would endthe celebration.

Wine is fruit of fermented grapes, from a vineyard, with vinesand branches, which grew grapes that contained seeds that had producing fruitsince the third day of creation she announces to the world that Jesus has cometo fix the problem that confronts us with the gap between good seed and good soiland the absence of fruit for the celebration.

Are you tracking the images of vineyards, vines and branches,good seeds planted and good seeds created, and the problem is an emptiness, avoid, a chasm that only Jesus has the solution.

The instructions in following Jesus are to do whatever he says.

His first words are something to the affect: I’m not at thetemple, were are not at the synagogue, its not been revealed to me when toreveal my true self. “I’ve just gotten by core staff on board and we have notworked all the details out.”

Mary insists that Jesus is the solution, the answer, the salvation to the problem.

Mary had been pondering in her heart and mind for decadesand she put the pieces together and encourages Jesus to step forward and letthe glory and power show.

NOTE: I find it very interesting that Jesus reveals the solution without it being about himself. Jesus is pointing and connecting us with God.

He uses clay water pitchers just as God use the clay vessels like us.

He uses servants to use what is known for purification,baptism and cleansing and has them fill the empty pots with cold water, a cupof cold water for those who are lost across a great chasm.

He sends them to the chief stewards, the chief priest, to Pilate,to Herod, to those who know fully about emptiness and shows them vessels fullof the solution.

The solution was the wine which would be poured out for the world,for the forgiveness of sins, that becomes our communion with God, throughChrist, who makes whole the void and emptiness of sin and brokenness.

The Chief Steward does not go to Jesus, he does not go to the servants, he goes to the bride and bridegroom.

This is where the praise for the greatest prize, the undeserved,the unrecognized has been saved for this moment. This indeed was Jesus’s momentto reveal God’s glory, and the rest of the story… all the way from creation’s goodness,the emptiness of sin and, the wholeness of salvation.

This is not just a wedding, it is the platform for the Glory of God to be known.

It is for this reason that the church and marriage havebecome a target…

The people are created good, every person is a precious giftof God, and we are all created for one another as God’s servants, but this storyis about the hospitality of the bridegroom.

Hospitality is a relationship of service to those in need.

Jesus shows up at the perfect time to serve those who are inneed.

  • when the joy, fellowship and community are threaten to end,
  • The need is when the fruitfulness is empty,
  • the wine was the solution (double meaning intended)

So What?

  • So drink Jesus up!
  • Be hospitable to others
  • Find hope that Christ is transforming us from water into fruitfulness


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John 1:43-51 Come See Heaven Open Up

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” [NRSV]


  • The power of doubt
  • Consumption of assumption
  • Oh little town of Rock Spring,
  • Nathanael, the product of Peter and Andrew


  • Come see with your own eyes,
  • The shepherd saw the angels but said to one another, let us go see for ourselves, what has been told to us
  • Thomas who had not yet seen Jesus raised from the dead, told the others, I will not believe until I see with my own eyes
  • The invitation is for tag team invitation for people to come see.
  • The greatest showman is a wonderful new musical that is a great movie even if you don’t ususally go see movies, it is worth experiencing. Is about PT Barnam’ seeing a dream come to life, loose it, and being reminded that joy can be found through people who love and trust.


  • Peter and Andrew promise Nathaniel that he will see heaven open if he goes to see Jesus,
  • That is what it means to find Jesus
  • It might. It be coming to church, the music and events, the ministries and activities, but it is through these people and the relationships we share that the Kingdom of God can show up
  • Some folks will tell you they don’t like church because all they talk about is money, or the Christian people gossip, lie and stab each other in the back, these are folks who have seen people WITHOUT Jesus
  • The challenge is to strive to share Jesus and not ourselves. Or at least not sharing our selves without Jesus opened up and visible.

You hold the keys to heaven, who will you keep out? Who will you let in?

  • So this passage holds our model:
  • Have an encouragement accountability partner,
  • Reach out to the people we know and meet
  • Invite them to come see Jesus at work in our lives, in our worship, ministry, fellowship, etc..

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Luke 14.1,7-14 Hospitality. JUMC 20130901 FaceTime 2

1 On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely… 7 When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9 and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, “Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 12 He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” [NRSV]


Being one who invites.
I’m just not not comfortable, they might accept
I’m scared, lazy or too busy
I don’t know what to say
Turn the tables: what would you want if you didn’t feel at home
What if I keep inviting and they don’t come
You may not be the one, but you don’t know Gil you try

Being one who hosts
I don’t have time, money or space
Some folks do a great job and we know when we have been made to feel welcome. Family opens their hoe to 5 cadets each weekend for four years.
Be available, flexible, open minded/ open-hearted
Not a matter of money, time nor space,,, Starbucks homeless man reading lessons
Create e opportunity
Walk t Emus

Being the one who honors
Know you are not the only one at the party
Listen to those around us
See the child of god in each person no matter how different they are
Being forgetful about the scores and past performances.
Hospitality is about doing whatever it takes to make someone be at home with god and the people of god. (you and me)
Duck dynasty, uncle Si escorted out the back door of a hotel…

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Matthew 22.1-10. Another Invitation. jUMC. 20111008

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: 2‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.” 5But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. 8Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. ~NRSV

The wedding host would have not only provided a banquet, they would have even furnished the tux and gowns for their guests to wear. Therefore, those without the right garments were wedding crashers. Those who turned up their nose to the host.






HEAR THE Report of the servants sent to invite others. Come back with them or their excuse. {at the beginning of the service we will have volunteers go invite those who are absent or not attending anywhere to come to church}

To this day, the city and area of Cannan is a popular wedding location. There are dress shops and bakers and florist and decorators fill the shops through town. There are even a variety of appliance and home improvement stores in Cannan. Having a new or remodeled home was an important part of wedding celebrations.

Jesus tells a parable describing the relationship of God and us: it is like those who, though invited to the party found any number off reasons to not participate in the party. One of the primary vows we make to each other as a church is our commitment to participate in the life of the church.





This congregation becomes where we build our relationships, strengthen our families, and where we bring others into the family. To not PARTICIPATE in the family life is to affirm there is something more important than our faith family’s joys, struggles and life.

As we peel away the lays of the onion we call stewardship… Part of our faith-life is placing this community as a priority for/with our family.

When someone becomes hurt or disenchanted with our church we need to know about it so that we can collectively work out or differences. When someone looks at your life witness, your public actions, you are representing us all.

The RADICAL part of our Christian HOSPITALITY is that we welcome each other, even though we know the good and bad about each other. Part 1 of our Stewardship Journey is PRIORITY, Part 2 stops to look at PARTICIPATION. Be here, not there…

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10312010 JUMC Hiding in the Pews to See Jesus Luke 19.1-10

19He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycomore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’ 8 Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ 9 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’ (-NRSV)

In the book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning tells the story of a man who had sinned greatly. His church excommunicated him, and he was forbidden to ever come into the church again. He repented. He wanted healing, so he went to the Lord, as the story goes, and said, “Lord, they won’t let me in because I am a sinner.” To which the Lord replied, “What are you complaining about, they won’t let me in either.”

The point of the modern parable was a good one: Poor sinners never fare well in churches that refuse to admit that we are all sinners and in desperate need of a salvation that is out of this world.

The Jewish Rabbinical religion of the first century offered little to ragamuffins.
Church that bases faith on what we can do to get right with God, what customs and rules we must keep to earn God’s favor, never do welcome such sinners. Such religion is still popular. You can gather a crowd if you just go around telling folks they must do this and do that: making faith simple, ease, and comfortable.

Zacchaeus means Pure. The tax collector, who had all the money and none of the joy or peace he sought was named Pure.
1. You name does not save you.

Zacchaeus goes up to see Jesus, but not necessarily to be seen. If you climb up a tree, you would generally be hidden by leaves and branches.
2. Some people what to know about Jesus, but are afraid to know Jesus.

Zacchaeus receives a direct invitation of Christian Hospitality.
3. Church is for worship, home is where the heart is.
Make yourself at home with Christ.

When Zacchaues sees, understands, experience, that Jesus includes
Folks even like Zach.. When Zacchaues is SEEN by Jesus..

Zacchaeus responds as a witness of a transformed heart.
4. He gives out of his sinful abundance.

It is said of the old preacher, Sam Jones from nearly a century ago, should we take money from knowing it comes from the proceeds of gambling and whiskey? He reply, CERTAINLY! The devil has had it long enough.

There is a response of Justice when Zacchaeus has been justified by Christ…
That is made whole by Christ, Zach’s response is to look at the whole of his life in Christ.
I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.

My beloved, I want to lift up this Jesus to you. Some of you are seated in these pews today, but in reality you are in a Sycamore tree, looking, searching, hoping to catch a glimpse of mercy. He is here. Our Savior who came for us, who died in our place, and who rose again that we might have life, is here today. Why don’t you come on down? Why don’t you, in your heart of hearts, right now, accept His divine invitation? He sees you, He welcomes you, and He will transform you.

This is the ministry of the Church. This is your work as Christians. To go to the places where Zacchaeus’ hide, to look at them with the eyes of Christ, to welcome them, and to go where others refuse to go. For you see, Zachaeus’ Gospel is my Gospel and yours. It is the Gospel we need to be proclaiming in our world, in our nation, in our homes.

Father, we are all ragamuffins. We are all twisted in parts of our souls. But, we thank You that You see us, You welcome us, and You will change us. Some of us have experienced that years ago.

But today we have lost the luster of grace. Restore it to us today, Lord. Some of us are burdened in our sins, our past, and our shame. We are still twisted. I thank You, Lord Jesus, that today, You are still bending down in Your amazing grace to give us the kiss of forgiveness.

Help this church to announce the Gospel of Grace to this community and as they join with other churches, to publish this Good News to a world of Zacchaeus’ looking and searching for mercy. In Your Name. Amen.

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