As we celebrate Christmas we often focus on “no room at the inn” part. And yet, on the other hand, there was a family that gave room for Mary and Joseph and the unborn child. The rest is history because of one welcoming family.
Christine Sine writes, “We cannot welcome Jesus without also extending our hand of welcome to those who gather round the manger – the disreputable and despised, the foreigners and aliens. These days when a baby is born many young couples keep it cloistered away for the first couple of months, afraid that it will be exposed to germs that it has no immunity to. Most parents would certainly not welcome those who came to see Jesus – first the animals and then the homeless shepherds who slept in the fields at night. Who do we exclude from our families because we are afraid they will contaminate us and the babies in our midst? . . . one of the reflections in our new devotional A Journey Toward Home, is about the French custom of santons, in which clay models of villagers are positioned around the manger bringing their gifts to the Christ child. . . . I love this idea of all our neighbours, those we enjoy and those we don’t want to have anything to do with, clustered around the manger, invited into that place of intimate hospitality with God. I encourage all of us to consider creating our own “santons” this Advent and Christmas season, santons of words, photos, and actions, not figures of clay. I am more convinced than ever that it matters a lot where we think Jesus was born, who was with him and how we relate to him. What is Your Response? Sit and think about what kind of Jesus you are waiting for this Advent season. Visualise this baby being born into your family. How would be be welcomed? Who would be welcomed with him? Who would not be welcomed into the family circle around him.” (https://godspace-msa.com/2016/11/28/meditation-monday-lets-welcome-jesus-into-our-homes/)
It was just this morning that I shared with Pastor Betty the following tweet from Christianity Today magazine, “Hospitality might be the most compelling form of evangelism the church can offer.” May our church family and our own individual families become a welcoming family for the sake of Christ.
Hospitality is sharing the love of Christ that was shown to us by God becoming flesh.
The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish. John 1:14 The Message