What does a welcome really look like?

ImageHaving experienced recently the harsh reality of being in a place that was aggressively unwelcoming, here are three levels of a good welcome:

1. Offering a cup of tea after a church service or inviting people over for a meal. If you invite someone over the expectation is that they will not arrive too early nor stay too late. It’s best not to ‘out stay your welcome’ you know.

2. A host encouraging a visitor to eat at their house and when they are ready to leave offers them a room for the night. Then the next day the host says to the guest ‘don’t rush off stay until the afternoon.’ And when the afternoon comes they say, ‘look it’s getting late stay over one more night.’ The next day the host will do exactly what they did the day before until the guest decides it’s time to leave. (see Judges 19:7)

3. God’s view of a good welcome is where you pursue your enemies and ask them to live with you forever. This is something that Jesus amply demonstrates. This thought is what Mark Buchanan picks up on in his book ‘Your church is too safe’ (Zondervan 2012). Furthermore in the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19: 1-10) The relationship between the guest and the host is such that both are giving and receiving – it is not one sided at all.

The challenge is to become more like the One we are devoted to.

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