This past Sunday, I was standing at the back of the sanctuary shaking hands. A couple came through the line I did not recognize and they told me this was their first time visiting with us. He shared with me that he is a retired Presbyterian pastor who has just moved to this area with his wife. He then told me a little bit about their story - where they moved from and some of the places they had lived and served. I always enjoy hearing someone's story. Each one of us has our own story which we can share with others.
After talking about these things, he went on to talk about how warm and welcoming this church family was. As a pastor, he said that he was particularly attuned to things like this, and that the folks here had been very welcoming and responsive to them. He also went on to say how meaningful the whole worship experience was to him and his wife. Being a Presbyterian, he found the ordination and installation of our elders particularly moving.
I wanted to share this with you and say, "Well done!" When we have guests here at Johns Creek Presbyterian Church, whether or not they experience our church as a warm and caring place is one of the main factors in determining if they will come back again. So, nice job in going out of your way to make our guests feel welcomed last Sunday!
We call this "Christian Hospitality." It means that whenever we are here and we see someone who we don't know, we reach out to them, introduce ourselves, and make a connection with them. It may require that we move out of our comfort zone. It is always easier to focus on the friends we know. But as Christians, we are called to "welcome the stranger." Keep up the good work as you share the love of Christ with those you encounter.
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. - Hebrews 13:1-2, NIV
Prayer for Today
Loving God, we have all been strangers from time to time. We know what it feels like not to be known. Thank you for reaching out to us with your love so that we might know and be known by you. Help us to love others as we would love you. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.