A Radical Welcome - Episode - 44

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Wayfarer | March 10, 2017

Not too long ago at Central, we had some signs printed that you may have seen. These green, blue, and orange signs have the words “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor” in Spanish, Arabic, and English. This program was started at Immanuel Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, VA in 2015 as a way to fulfill their church motto, “Real people following Jesus’ radical call to love and service.”Lots of folks from Central took these signs and put them up. We’ve got more on the way, so don’t worry if you missed it. Today, we'll listen to a story from the Gabbard's about an encounter they had because of one of these signs they placed in their yard. Our acts of light and kindness won’t always engender positive responses, but sometimes they do. And we can cherish these times and be reminded that no matter what we experience, there are folks who need to see these words of welcome.So, it seems to me that a skillful practice is to try to untangle the outcomes we may get from our acts of kindness, from the acts and from our own identities. We are inspired to share welcome and love with others because of the life and message of Jesus. And Jesus was not always met with glowing responses of gratitude. Like in our scripture passage this week, Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus was full of misunderstandings. The beauty of the call of Jesus is that we are already accepted and welcomed as we are. So no matter responses we get from others, be they positive or negative, we can trust that we are already welcomed into grace. Already welcomed into love. Already welcomed into the life of Christ. We can be grateful and inspired when we see that love reflected in others, and we can find hope and courage to continue when we find resistance. Because the smile of God is on us. God is for us.  Thanks also to Jane Tatum for sharing her music with us.  Write your own beatitude and call it in so we can use it in a future episode. Just leave a message at (859) 813-0150. 

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Central Baptist Church