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Friday, 29 June 2018

Home Sweet Home


Home Sweet Home    
Wednesday, June 20, 2018


                Have you ever taken a trip to see your childhood home?
How have you reacted- with comfort, concern, despair or even cried? Often when we see the home from years before we respond with mixed emotions for it is not the house we see before us, but the memories that come to the front of our hearts and minds. Memories of how we shared special times with our families at that place as we grew older. Memories of relatives and friends coming and going in time. Memories which will never be repeated. It was a house and a home for a time, but home was wherever you established relationships which in turn made new memories.

                When we think of home are we comforted, cared for and loved? We know that for many people home is not this place where loving caring people support and nurture you. It is a place of tears and hopelessness. Yet there is a place that is a forever home and with an eternal family that longs to grow larger. The church. The earthly church is a spiritual family that foreshadows the true, heavenly community for which we long for. For the faithful people of the church, our heavenly home is what we should be yearning for, preparing to see and experience and of course, fill us with hope.

                Paul wrote of the need to be with God and yearned for the eternal home which has been prepared. (2 Cor. 5:1-4) Our true citizenship is in heaven and Christ waits for us. But how do we prepare for this eternal dwelling place? We look to the church for support in times of crises, but are we willing to offer this support to others? The church is a foreshadowing of God’s great goal to create a united, like- minded people made up of every tribe and nation who will worship before God’s throne. This is the reason why we follow Jesus’ command known as the great commission. Matthew 28:19-20.

REFLECTION:
When was the last time you felt ‘homesick’, that is remembering life when you lived as a child, or youth? When young, children make many pictures and have many accomplishments. Often, parents will put these on the refrigerator so that the whole family can see these items. This often is seen as a sign of family support. Imagine if God had a refrigerator; would your pictures be on it?
In faith we believe God calls us to serve, to love others as Jesus taught and to share the message that is in our hearts—loving others. If we believe we need also to know that one day we will be called home by God to rest in heaven, where it is not a lonely place—but a place with the comforts of home- only better! God is in control and all we need do is sing his praise.  Are you yearning to go home one day?

PRAYER
Thank you God that you call us to be like families as we worship and work within our churches. Help us to know that you love us and that we do the work necessary for the sake of your story being told again and again. Hear these prayers as we pray for homes, families and the churches which serve as the family of God for each of us. Amen.

Resource:  (based upon) Kay Swatkowski “Make Yourself at Home: Discovering the Heart of the Church” Discovery House Publishers, Our Daily Bread Ministries, 2016 (ch.10)    
PLEASE NOTE: Next Reflection sent out July 11!

Thursday, 7 June 2018

What is Hospitality?


Make Yourself at Home
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
What is Hospitality?


                Hospitality enables deeper relationships between people.
Hospitals care for the sick and support patients as they return to health. In the church, hospitality cares for people. True biblical hospitality can return a church to health. When a gift touches our souls, there is healing. Hospitality focuses all attention on the needs of the guest and the host prioritizes the spending of time with the guest.
                Two sisters, Mary and Martha learned that Jesus was coming to their village. IN Luke 10:38-42 we read of their story. Martha was preparing the meal, building a fire, setting the table, fetching the water and wiping sweat as she worked. Mary sat a Jesus’ feet. Martha was annoyed about to cross the line between hospitality and entertaining. She grumbled, “Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?” Jesus reminded Martha that she was worried about too many things. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her. Spending time with Jesus is always the most important.
                The early church understood hospitality. They needed to be together to make their relationships all the more precious. They gathered strength from sharing meals. When the disciples traveled to share the good news, they depended upon the hospitality of others. “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angles without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2. Hospitality is not entertaining. True hospitality costs.
REFLECTION:
When was the last time you truly felt or showed hospitality? Sometimes we forget that this is a gift of the Spirit which is often seen as being assumed by the church. But people in a church family which is made up of all ages, and stages of life need this hospitality in order to grow and be with people for who they are!
Why do churches have meals or potlucks?  To build up hospitality. Yet often what occurs is that fellowship is moved for something to grow from within to fundraisers where those involved are there to provide a meal and clean up. Little interaction takes place between the hosts and guests. And this is where something is lost in those wonderful church suppers! How might we try to be more hospitable with one another?
PRAYEER
God you have gifted us with many blessings. Help us to be more hospitable and to choose what Jesus said was the right thing to do. To sit and listen at his feet. Help us to have time to do this and to rejoice that Jesus truly loves us for who we are. Enable us to share his love and tell these stories as we become more hospitable. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Resource:  (based upon) Kay Swatkowski “Make Yourself at Home: Discovering the Heart of the Church” Discovery House Publishers, Our Daily Bread Ministries, 2016 (ch.3)