In Luke 7, Jesus teaches that we should go out of our way to welcome the unwanted. Our Savior knew all too well the pains of exclusion.
“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” Luke 14:13
After a long drive, we arrived at our vacation destination late Saturday night. Everyone was exhausted. The next day I managed to wake up in time for church and decided to go it alone. I stood near the back as people streamed through the church doors.
I expected someone to welcome me, but not one person came over and said, “Hello, are you visiting here today?” After the service, I considered talking to the pastor about my chilly experience.
In Luke 7, Jesus teaches that we should go out of our way to welcome the unwanted. Our Savior knew all too well the pains of exclusion. His community ridiculed him, his family questioned his sanity, and his closest friends betrayed him.
But this did not stop Jesus from doing everything possible to make himself approachable to all who suffer from abandonment and isolation: the lepers, the gentiles, the tax collectors, the poor, and the sinners.
When we experience neglect or rejection from friends, colleagues, and even family members, Jesus wants us to run into his open arms and ask for a heart like his, a heart that keeps on reaching out to the neglected and the unloved. Christ does not want our pride and our past hurts to stop us from welcoming those who are new to our neighbourhoods, workplaces, and churches.
Our Lord extended his love and compassion to all. Let us do the same. Let us welcome the marginalized and disenfranchised souls we meet so we can live more as Christ wants us to live.
Lord, help us be more welcoming so others can see your goodness in each of us. Prevent us from making snap judgments about people, and give us the grace to welcome those who are very different from us that you have placed on our path. Amen.
Today, why not try smiling and greeting everyone you meet today?
By Doug Lim
Used by Permission