The Welcome Mat
Today’s scripture selection: Third John
Key verses: Third John, verse 5
I guess it’s supposed to be funny.
It’s a door mat that I saw for sale awhile back.
It says simply, “Go Away.”
My, how the world has changed. I understand that people are tired of dealing with junk mail; solicitors; adware; door-to-door evangelists. But come on – go away?
In contrast to this cynical, snarky attitude – there is the example of Third John, verse 5. Written by the apostle John to his friend Gaius:
“Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, though they are strangers to you.”
And the commendation is made in stark contrast to what another, a fellow by the name of Diotrephes, is doing because he “loves to be first.”
It is important in a very hostile world to be careful. You can’t pick up hitchhikers like days gone by; naively let strangers passing through use your spare bedroom.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t be hospitable in some way.
We are called to be the ones who lend a welcoming greeting; a sympathetic ear; a helpful hand – especially to the ones whom the world has forgotten or discarded, like yesterday’s trash.
So, I recommend you buy a doormat that has some other greeting than an invitation to go away.
And most of all, I invite you to welcome others, as best you can, just as you and I have been welcomed by a very loving, patient, God.
Prayer: Lord, help me to reach out in sincere hospitality, in your name. AMEN.