READ : Romans 15:7-13
Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (v. 7)
The “Welcome Wagon” has long been a staple of communities seeking to attract new businesses. Gift baskets and coupon books are given to welcome new people to the community. Churches have also perfected the art of hospitality with welcome packets, coffee and donuts, and just about anything else to make visitors feel welcome.
Ultimately, the hospitality of a church will be determined by the openness and friendliness of its people. A gift packet doesn’t mean much if it isn’t delivered by people with an authentic passion to welcome others.
The church in Rome was a melting pot of people from different backgrounds with different preferences. This is very similar to the world we find ourselves in today, where some have backgrounds in church and “know how to act,” while others may have very limited history with the church and its traditions.
Remember how our fellowship with God was made possible through the unconditional love of Jesus who offered himself to us when we had no other way to be with him. Consider how you felt the first time you became part of a fellowship you weren’t part of before. Then commit to being welcoming!
God, help me to extend myself to people as you did to me. Amen.