How welcoming are you?
I wonder if you have ever had the horrible experience of feeling ignored, unwelcome or out of place?
Maybe starting a new job or a new school… you walk in and no-one makes an effort, everyone seems to know everyone else really well… Maybe going to a Wedding of a distant relative and you’re stuck on a table where everyone knows everyone else but they haven’t seen each other for ages so they just turn their backs to you and completely forget you’re there…
Churches can sometimes be unwelcoming… everyone knows everyone else; on a Sunday, everyone’s keen to catch up with good friends… And so the new arrival… the visitor is discretely shunned… not maliciously but it doesn’t feel any different!
We mustn’t fall into this trap at St Lawrence’s … we must continue to be known as the welcoming/friendly Church!
Jesus was so welcoming he was violently criticised for it! The great and the good (the Pharisees) complained that he welcomed the wrong kind of people (Zacchaeus the tax man, Mary Magdalene the woman of ill-repute, Lepers, Sinners and Godless Heathens)! They complained that he didn’t give them enough of his attention because he was too concerned for those who were seeking him out!
As followers of Jesus… we must follow his example… we must be warm welcomers… we must welcome all!
So let’s always be in friendly mode!
And this doesn’t just apply to Sundays; it’s for the rest of the week. – So many isolated, lonely, insecure, shy, and troubled people long to be smiled at and talked to! Give it a go. Be like Jesus!