I already love you.
And, it’s not because you are perfect. And, it’s not because I am perfect. I love you because I can tell you love “church” as much as I do.
You love eating together and toasting together!
You love housing the poor and caring for the sick.
I have seen all of this in just a few weeks.
This is a letter of gratitude for the radical and love-infused hospitality that you have extended me in the three weeks since I have joined this beloved community.
Your hospitality reminds me of Jesus’ words to Mary of Bethany when she accidentally breaks the alabaster oil jar, “Jesus said, 'Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing for me.'" Matthew 26:6-13
It reminds me of when the disciples were indigent and Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Or when Jesus captures radical hospitality in Luke 14:12-14 when he says: Give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.
Thank you my new friends for your radical hospitality. Your welcome has gone beyond being friendly; it has been a warm welcome, with openness, and authenticity that significantly exceeded my expectations. It has been an intentional hospitality that surprised and delighted me. I have felt like I too belong.
In the spirit of radical hospitality let us hang our hats on these three principles:
Let us receive the other with revolutionary generosity as Jesus did.
Let us offer personal attention, especially to those that often go unnoticed.
Listen with the ear of your heart ~ Benedict. And, always follow up.
I am grateful, church.
I love what may be possible together.
I love that hospitality already seems to be in the moral fabric of this community.
I love that radical hospitality is in fact a spiritual practice and an opening of the heart for Plymouth UCC.
Peace & Love,