Letter to the Parish - Friday 7 May 2021

First published on: 8th May 2021

Dear all,

I wonder if, like us, you have been welcoming people into your garden, to have food, drinks and a good catch up? All being well in a couple of weeks we will be able to do this in our houses. In our case this means that we should probably get the house clean and tidy. Hospitality and giving people a warm welcome has been something that I have really missed over the last year and is something I am excited to be able to do again. It is also important as Christians that we are welcoming and show great hospitality, just like we are welcomed into relationship with God through Jesus.

The gospel reading this week follows on from last week’s reading and continues to explain how we should love one another. I firmly believe that a warm welcome and good hospitality are some of the ways that we love each other. In the passage from Acts Peter was involved in some baptisms and afterwards those involved

“asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.” Acts 10:48

As we begin to open our homes and communities more and more over the coming weeks, we must ensure we are intentionally and warmly welcoming people into our church and consider how we offer hospitality. This week maybe we can reflect on these questions as individuals and as a church body.

Are we good at inviting people in? In this passage Peter is invited to stay. It is important for us to invite people. I am convinced that people are searching for community, welcome and hospitality. They will find it in church, but need to be invited to it.

How warm is our welcome? I think all the churches I have ever been to have said that they are the most welcoming church! And although this may be true, there are many stories of people going to a church and experiencing the complete opposite. In order to make sure everyone who walks into our church experiences a warm welcome, we need to continue to work hard at being intentionally welcoming.

Who are we showing hospitality to? This is a challenge for us all because if you are anything like me it is easy to show hospitality to some people and I can easily fill my time with just the same groups of people. This is also a danger for churches too; we can fill our time with who we know and not see those looking in.

Let us always be people and a church that offers a warm welcome and great hospitality and, in that way, love one another.

God Bless,

Gareth


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