A Warm Welcome – Good News for December 13

13 12 2008

Sirach 48:1-3, 10-11

In those days, like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were as a flaming furnace. Their staff of bread he shattered, in his zeal he reduced them to straits; By the Lord’s word he shut up the heavens and three times brought down fire… 

You were destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD, To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob. Blessed is he who shall have seen you and who falls asleep in your friendship.

Matthew 17:9-13

As they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased.  So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.”

Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. 

The Daily Path: Since it’s Saturday, you get a double feature reading. When I was a kid, back in the Neolithic Period, going to the movie meant seeing a double feature and cartoons… all for fifty cents! 

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to chat with an old friend and former colleague. We discussed our respective Christian communities and how we felt a church should offer a warm sense of “Welcome” to all who cross its threshold. My friend grew up Catholic and attended Catholic school. But the Catholic Church was not where he would ultimately find God’s warm embrace. 

I find it exciting when people of various faiths have the opportunity to share their journey with each other. It’s uplifting when we reach across theological boundaries and religious tradition to find our common denominator… the peace, love and mercy of God. I wish there more interfaith opportunities to come together, not to convert, but to celebrate what we have in common. 

Perhaps you will have an opportunity today to extend God’s “Welcome” mat.

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