Date: Friday, November 2
Scripture: Ephesians 3:1-13
Verse: “This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles” (Ephesians 3:1)
Several years ago I read, with many of you, Robert Schnase’s book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. One of the practices he calls “radical hospitality” is what we have been talking about all week. When we welcome the stranger, invite the outsider in, and tell those who feel separated they belong, we are practicing radical hospitality. Paul, a Jewish person of high station, was imprisoned for the sake of the outsiders. His radical hospitality of welcoming non-Jewish people (Gentiles) into the church was offensive to some. He knew though, this faith was given to him as a gift he was called to share with everyone. He didn’t deserve it, so it must be available to all others who do not appear to deserve it either.
Monday I asked you to begin to identify the “widows, orphans, and strangers” of today, those who feel like outsiders from the love and provision of God. I have some in mind, and I’m guessing you do too. Some of ours are probably the same, but many others are not. I believe God, through Christ, gives each of us a heart for different aspects of the world. My heart might be broken by the plight of the homeless person in Monument, while yours might ache for the plight of the hungry in Africa. Each of us has been given that passion that we might extend radical hospitality to all.
Where is your passion? How will you be radically hospitable to those different from you?
Prayer: Thank you God for the gift of my faith, and the passions you have laid upon my heart. Give me the courage to share your love with all. Amen.
Action: As you reflect on God’s call upon your life, do some small acts of hospitality today. Give to the beggar on the street, buy the order of the person behind you in the drive in, stop to hold open a door for a stranger…