When Christ returns to this earth to judge the nations, these are the words he will speak to his church:
‘Come, you who 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 drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, (ESV)
A chief characteristic of the church is hospitality. We believe in welcoming strangers, feeding the hungry, and caring for the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. And, by all accounts, you are embracing this call from Christ with joy. Just this week Marcy was telling me that in the last year you all have provided hundreds of meal trains in our church. And those are only meals for new parents and those with medical issues.
And we want to grow into this more every passing year. As the Spirit conforms us more into the image of Christ, we’ll see more friendships, more women’s night out events, more men’s Bible studies and more meals in homes.
So, this is a word of encouragement. Keep pursing hospitality in your families. Start small. Prioritize family meals. Dad’s lead the way in prayer and thanksgiving. Hospitality is a muscle that grows with exercise. And as God expands your abilities, invite members and guests over for those meals.
But remember that the center of all our hospitality out there, is God’s hospitality in here. Our entire lives center around this table. We feed the hungry because God fed us. We befriend the lonely because Christ befriended us while we were sinners and cut off. When we were strangers, he welcomed us and he fed us with his own body and blood.
This meal is for sinners—sinners who have responded to the invitation of Jesus, and have put their faith in him.
So, come and welcome to Jesus Christ.