Last week while in Spain on a father/daughter trip I will always remember, one thing I loved doing each day that I always love was riding elevators. Yeah, I know, that seems so weird. Granted it may not be as exciting as experiencing a new culture and seeing all the fabulous sites, but there is just something about elevator-riding. The anticipation of waiting for which door will open is often too much to handle! And then with the "ding" of the elevator's arrival, I position myself front and center. As the doors part, my mind starts to race, my palms get sweaty, my pupils dilate. Will there be room for me? Will I have to wait for the next one? What faces will be there to greet me?
And then once aboard the elevator, the real fun begins. More questions flood my mind: How many stops will there be before I need to get off? Will it be awkward silence with everyone staring in different directions? Will we all fit? Will I be invading someone else's space? Do these people speak English? Where are all these people from? And with each stop, the same process begins again. On the packed hotel elevator in Valencia, I broke the silence by saying, "I suppose you all are wondering why I've called you together today for this meeting." It brought forth a few snickers.
In most all the hotel elevators I rode, it was very crowded, and each time, I found myself saying the same thing as the doors opened and someone wanted to get in: "Come on in, there's always room for one more!" And there was, even when we were crammed in. It never occurred to me or us to evaluate the people wanting to get on based on their ethnicity, their apparent economic status, their morality, their accomplishments, or their looks. But those standing across the threshold were invited to join us simply because they wanted to. "Come on in, there's always room for one more."
My hope is the same can be said of our church for you and for the world.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. -John 13: 34, 35
Prayer for Today
O God, may our love for one another and for the world communicate clearly that all are welcomed here. Amen.