By: Holly Reimer
Romans 15:4-13

Reflection—v. 17 ‘welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you.’

I vividly remember the little ditty we practiced when I was in Sunday school as a young child, ‘Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors, and see all the people.’ This has a new meaning to me now as I think about what it looks like to gather together as a community, that it is less about the building, and more about the people. However, as the weather gets colder I am also mindful of the need for a physical building, a space of refuge from the cold. I find myself incredibly grateful for partnership with a fellow congregation who welcomes members in our community who don’t have housing into their space so they can sleep without worry of literally freezing to death. It is an image of what it looks like to truly be welcomed. Too many times folks are told, ‘you aren’t welcome here’ or ‘there is too much liability’ or ‘what if…’ Christ challenges us to see things differently from the ways of the world, the systems and structures that are directly or indirectly oppressive. In that space, when we open the doors and see all the people, we get to see folks for the beloved creatures they are, the way that Christ sees them. People who know each other by name, who get to sit down to a meal together and invite one another into their stories.

Prayer: God, thank you for welcoming us and showing us how to love and welcome others!

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