I know that I talk about welcome and hospitality very frequently. Apparently, some people are hearing what I’ve been saying. Jackie, a long-time member of Amazing Grace and regular reader of this blog, functions as a guest blogger and shares a story about radical hospitality from this past weekend:
Ever since Pastor Paul arrived here (18 months now) he has talked and written about "radical hospitality"—about our church becoming a more welcoming and inviting church, and for us old timers (of which I am one) to see where just maybe others don't see us as we see ourselves. Likewise, he told us this story: his uncle was visiting him here in SA, came to our church and we were happy to meet him, and then they visited another larger church in our area and he said no one came up to offer assistance, or even acknowledge their presence in any way. Get the picture?
WEELLLLLLL This Sunday morning on my way to church between 7:30 and 8 o'clock a.m., I had WOAI 1200 on my car radio, and I believe it was a Baptist church broadcasting at that time, when I heard the Preacher say, "Radical hospitality. You are going to be hearing that phrase a lot in the near future: "radical hospitality." I just about drove off the road! Then he went on to say that some visitors had recently been to their campus, and no one offered any assistance or even made eye contact (sound familiar?) AND the Preacher was sure there would be those in the congregation that had been there longer than he who would disagree and say, “Oh but we are a friendly and welcoming church,” and maybe needed to take another look at things (maybe?) WEEEEELLLLLL by this time I had pulled over to the side of the road, listened carefully to see that this was not my pastor's voice and message coming through my car radio!!!! I just KNEW that God was channeling him just for me and about then the preacher gave an altar call to close the program and I KNEW then Pastor Paul was NOT being channeled thru my car radio. I, and I mean I, got the picture!!!!. AMEN.