Welcome the stranger
Matthew 25: 34-40 (NRSVA)
34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40 And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
So this week we have been thinking about our need to belong, our need to know we are a part of something,
Something bigger than ourselves.
That sense of belonging brings security, brings stability and brings a sense of wellbeing...
And so what if you are the outsider?
Hospitality is a strand woven through the tapestry of life...
The welcoming of friend and stranger alike,
The sharing of food, taking time and getting to know one another,
It helps us feel valued, loved and accepted. It makes us feel that we belong.
But it’s not only to be limited to those that it’s nice to know!
Our reading today reminds us that as Christ’s ambassadors we are called to welcome all,
Even those we would rather not...
The sick, the homeless, the prisoners...
How is this challenging you today?
How can you welcome the stranger in your midst?
What can you do to enable someone today to feel that they belong?
You meet us with arms open wide,
You usher us in to your embrace,
Help us Lord to share that love and acceptance with all,
Equip us and encourage us to be your hands and your feet,
Meeting practical needs and extending the hand of friendship —
To all —
In your name,