I Love My Church…
Because Everybody’s Welcome
August 12/13, 2017
-We have a God who loves and welcomes everybody.
-Hospitality is making space for someone you don’t have to make space for.
So [Jesus] left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink? …The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” … “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” (John 4:3-18)
Everybody has a story and every story has some messy parts.
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” … “Yet a time is coming and has now come…when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” …The woman said, “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”…” I, the one speaking to you, am he.” Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him. (John 4:19-30)
Being right puts me on the opposite side of people I disagree with. Love puts me on the same side as people I disagree with.
The primary place where Jesus went to make space for sinners, for people who are not perfect, to be welcomed by the Father, was a cross.
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