Each day I receive devotionals or blog posts delivered to my email. I confess, I don’t always read them, but yesterday this one caught my eye from ‘Inward/Outward’;
“Hospitality means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. It is not to lead our neighbor into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment.” Henri Nouwen
I had posted a little something on serving this past Tuesday…well not serving exactly but it was mentioned and I thought this is so perfect! I actually had wished it had shown up a day or so earlier so I could’ve incorporated it into the post. Maybe I should look upon it as confirmation on something that I learned while serving in a hospitality capacity at my church’s events.
I have learned, and firmly believe, that those who respond to the alter are not just feathers in the pastor’s cap. Yes, it is the pastor who put out the call to be saved, it is the pastor’s message that can impact and change a mind set; but so can the person who shook their hand as they entered the building with trepidation & the smile they received when they got shown to a seat. If you contributed, in any way, during an event or service that caused people to turn their eyes towards Jesus, you, my friend, are also credited the victory. Really and truly.
In a war, it is not just the generals who receive the glory, it is the entire group of men (and women) who fought alongside. Yes it’s the general that you see in the media, but he/she is only the front person for a mass of people that did what they were supposed to do. When these soldiers finally make their way back home, the homecoming is celebrated by everyone and they are hailed as the heroes. Then there’s rock bands (I know super spiritual here)…they couldn’t do what they do without a strong team behind them. Where would they be with out the guys who set up all the electrical stuff, the pyrotechnics, the sound guys, the costumers, the bus drivers,…you get the picture?
If you are already serving in any capacity in your home body, I salute you. You are a hero of the faith.
If you’re not, what’s holding you back? It doesn’t have to be a big thing, even if it’s picking up a stray piece of trash that you encountered in the parking lot, you contributed. Use the small things as stepping stones, and soon you’ll be serving alongside some pretty amazing people, that I can guarantee. There are so many ways to help out and to become a productive member of your church family. Why not phone and ask, the worst case scenario (or best depending on your perspective) is that they’ll say no…but I highly doubt they will.
“the greatest gift we have to offer others is ourselves, because it’s in our fragile and vulnerable humanness that people see the unconditional love and redeeming power of God most clearly.“ Adam McHugh
“Whenever Jesus says come and follow him, he is saying: I’d like to invite you to join my community. I’d like you to pick up your life, to pack up your bags and come share your life with us. Come join us, come experience the new kind of security that we have found by trusting God together. You’ll find people very much like yourselves, people with the same fears, problems, and history, but people who want to learn a new way of living together, friends who will take you by the hand, and together, will be led with you to a new place. Come and live among us and learn what the new order is all about.” Jim Wallis
Hugs to you my friend; go and change the world, one small step, one small change, at a time.
“Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God.”