Welcoming the "Other"
I sent this e-mail out to our church family today regarding our Community dinner together on sunday night.
Most of the time when I think of a “community dinner”, I think of the fun that it will be to sit down with my church family, fellowship together and tell bad jokes.
While this is true (especially the bad jokes part!) and is something that I definitely look forward to this Sunday evening, I think Jesus calls us to something beyond this. Something that goes a little bit further. Something that calls us outside of ourselves and into the lives of “the other.”
Take a minute to read Mark 2:13-17 (you don’t even need to go get your Bible, just read it online).
There is something special about inviting someone outside of your family to sit and eat at your table. It says, “you are welcome here” and “you matter to us enough for us to go out of our way to prepare and share this meal with you.” It puts feet to your statements of love.
I challenge you this weekend as you prepare, well whatever you are preparing for this fantastic feast, to pray and ask God who he desires you to welcome at His table.
Perhaps it is someone who the world would scoff at your sitting down to dinner with. Perhaps its a neighbor who you just want to introduce to a community of people who really do love this guy Jesus (or at least, a community of people who are trying their best).
Whoever it is, I pray that when we gather together, we always have a place for “the other” at our table. (For the record, by “the other” I simply mean someone who does not call themselves part of our community. This could be someone who the world looks down on as in this passage or it might not). May God use our community to welcome and love all kinds of people…
Pastor of Missional Community