West Union United Methodist Church
Monday, July 15, 2019
Luke 10:27

Pastor's Corner



  Consider This… From Chris

The late Henri Nouwen wrote about the movement of the spiritual life in his book “Reaching Out.”  In one section he talks about the movement from hostility to hospitality.  One of the first parts of that movement is the recognition and admission that we fear those who are different from us.

Most of us are taught as children not to talk to strangers, and we carry that fear into our adulthood. We who only a few generations ago were immigrants, want to close our borders and hearts against others who want to come to this great country.  We lock the doors of our houses, our vehicles and sometimes we also lock our hearts against the stranger.  We even get territorial about our churches (“Excuse me, this is my pew”).  Who will we allow in without hesitation?  Who is welcome and who is viewed with suspicion?  I haven’t counted, but it seems that the sin of in hospitality is mentioned in scriptures more than almost any other transgression.  We continue to fail at caring for ” the least of these.”

Nouwen reminds us that very often the stranger has something to offer to us, and we to them.  In Genesis, Abraham and Sarah welcome and feed the three strangers, and receive a blessing from God, the promise of a son in their old age.  In I Kings, Elijah is welcomed and fed by the widow of Zarephath, and she receives a blessing, and the raising of her son from the dead. In Joshua, Rahab welcomed the Israelite spies, and saved her family from death.  In Luke 25, the disciples on the way to Emmaus walk with a stranger, invite him into their home, and discover they have befriended Jesus himself.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to overcome our fears of those who may seem to be different, and to remember that not only do we have something to offer to them, but that they have, by the grace of God, gifts and blessings for us.   

Are there some to whom we could be showing greater hospitality? Jesus said, “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.”  See you in Church!