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Back The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Thursday, June 25, 2020
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
When I travel with others to various African countries on mission business, those on the journey with me are surprised by the incredible welcome we often receive from our hosts. The children often perform songs and dances of welcome. Gifts are shared. Speeches are made etc. It far outweighs our more local experiences of welcome, however gracious they may appear in our own mind.
This weekend’s Biblical lessons reflect upon the gift of hospitality. In the second book of Kings, we reflect upon an event in the lift of Elisha, the young successor to the great Elijah the prophet. He receives hospitality from a woman on his journey. The woman and her husband welcome the man of God to stay with them, while in the area and they provide for him. God indeed rewards her, as Elisha receives a prophecy for her that she will soon bear a son.
The passenger from the Gospel of Matthew is part of a larger section of writing in which the twelve are named, commissioned, told of persecutions they will experience, encouraged, given conditions for their discipleship and the rewards others may experience if they receive them well. We are informed that we will never miss our reward, if we welcome anyone who is a believer sent by God. “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me” (Matthew 10:40).
At this time of “re-opening” of our church building for attendance at worship, I am most proud of the many who have rose to the occasion to minister to our church family. Though our lectors, ministers of Holy Communion and Deacons all have had they ministry augmented a bit, the ministers of hospitality, our ushers, have the larger bulk of responsibility. Their role has been made crucial at this time of making our congregation feel welcome, safe and secure throughout our time together in the Church building. It has been such a blessing to welcome congregation members back to public worship. May this spirit of excited welcome continue among us as we encounter the living Christ and Messiah within each other. Summertime blessings to you all.