22 July 2014
On Sunday I sat in a little church in Secunda. On the screen ahead, the church’s mission statement included the words: Practice Hospitality.
That phrase stuck with me as I zoned in and out of the message given by that 83 year old lady who stood before us. (Boy, did she preach her heart out!) Was inspired by her enthusiasm. (How, grace can be found everywhere…)
That phrase can be found in Romans 12: 13 “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
I just thought about that. We’re doing okay, us churches, you know?!
We often hear (actually over and over); how we must reach out. Bring the gospel to others…
“Change the world.” “People need to know about Jesus.”
You’ve heard the phrases over and over rephrased and cleverly delivered.
Out, out, out…
But what about in?
I’m really guessing here. Say for example: my church: we have about 400 in attendance over the 3 services.
Not a mega church; but still that’s 400 lives (people).
How are we practicing hospitality with them?
That person who has come for 9 years without fail at the third to back row, chair (say) “number 8”; what about him or her? If it weren’t for the constant companion and habit of going to church, singing some hymns, listening to a sermon… who knows; they may have perhaps been “lost” as we’ve termed it.
Or those widows who long to have that chat around a cup of tea after the service.
How are we showing her hospitality?
Are there lonely people in your church?
If there are, then perhaps… you’re doing something wrong.
The young adult who brings his non-committal and cynical friend each week. How is that friend treated?
Perhaps… we don’t need to ALWAYS focus on what is OUT THERE… when we need to actually practice hospitality right here in the four walls of your church?
“Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?” Casting Crowns