Welcome Others: Seeing People As Sons and Daughters
Not just a day that you were celebrated; like a birthday. I mean can you remember a time when there was nothing special going on, but you were still made to feel noticed, seen, valued and welcomed? It feels good doesn’t it? We all long for that feeling and feel such comfort when we experience it. But why? Why does every human want to feel valuable? To be welcomed into spaces and homes and lives? We all have different aspirations, desires, plans, likes, and dislikes, but it seems that regardless of our differences, we all share a universal desire to feel and be valued.
What if I told you that you have this desire because you truly are valuable and your soul desires to be reminded of this truth? Genesis recounts how everything was originally created. According to Genesis 1 , God not only created humans with care and intentionality, He created them (us/you) in His own image and welcomed us into His life and His world. Although this image was damaged when sin entered the story, Jesus’s grace is THE restorative agent for that image in every person that calls on His name. You are a unique image bearer of God – (Colossians 3:10). You hold incredible value. John, who was one of Jesus’ disciples, reflecting on this profound grace that is located in Jesus was quoted saying, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1).
Let that sink in. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords sees you as His son or His daughter. You are royalty! In Romans 12, after reflecting for 11 chapters on this profound grace God has worked in and through Jesus, Paul lists out behaviors that Christians ought then to show others in light of that grace. It should come as no surprise that, among others, Paul lists hospitality, or this sacrificial act of welcoming others, particularly strangers. Paul knew that honoring God meant honoring people because people are made in the image of God! Indeed it’s one of the ways we participate in the life of God, who Himself has taken in ‘others;’ sinners in need of forgiveness and grace (or something to this effect).
I want you to think about this every time you attend a local church gathering where someone shows you hospitality, where someone opens the door for you, someone checks-in your child, someone tells you good morning, or they ask if they can pray for you. In those moments, you aren’t just being ushered through another church service. You are being treated like royalty because you too bear the image of the King of Kings.
It feels pretty good doesn’t it? It should. You were made for this kind of world.
Now if that’s the truth behind why folks at a church might show hospitality towards you, you might ask, “What kind of hospitality am I showing others?” We will talk about the purpose of our roles and how they’re connected to how we show hospitality to others, in part two.
Dickson Campus Pastor