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Tuesday Tidings 9 13 2022

Dearest Members of Bethlehem,

“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” -Romans 15:7

Hospitality is a serious concern and it has been for a long time. All the way back in the first century, Paul was teaching the early Christians about its importance.

So it’s good to be reminded about the value of a warm welcome, I certainly needed reminded. A couple of weeks ago the doorbell rang and then some friendly tapping. The knock was so cordial I thought for sure it was a neighbor.

I turned off the water, put the scrubby in the sink, and made my way to the front door. When I answered… I saw it was a solicitor.

She greeted me, said hello, and then tried to sign me up for some television/cable service. I didn’t have time for this and declined the offer. Then, the young woman said, “Uhh, I’m just saying, your necktie is tucked into your shirt. Did you know that?”

Seriously? Are there necktie gremlins flitting around secretly tucking people’s ties in, is this an issue I should know about?

I sighed just ever so slightly, and said, “Yes, thank you. I am aware that my necktie is tucked into my shirt.” She continued to stare, bewildered, confused. I felt awkward, as if I needed to give an explanation. So, I gave one, “I was washing the dishes.”

“Really?” she exclaimed, “You were washing the dishes? Well good for you!” I kid you not, she started clapping, right there on my front steps. The applause was momentary, but it was applause nonetheless.

And it struck me, if that young woman could applaud me for seeing to my daily chores, then I could honor her for having the courage to go door to door, not to mention doing her job with enthusiasm. I still didn’t buy the cable service, but I did commend her in her work, and genuinely wished her all the best in her endeavors.

Paul said, “Welcome one another.” That’s about acknowledging that those that are coming to us aren’t always trying to get something from us, but very often have something to offer… if we’re open to the possibility of the giving and receiving.

Every time I’ve tucked my tie into my shirt since that day, I smile… I hope that young woman is doing well and continues to find joy in her work, as well as a kind welcome every once in a while.

Question for reflection: How often have you pretended not to be home when someone has knocked on your door?

This week at Bethlehem:

On Tuesday our Congregation Council will be gathering at 7:30.

On Wednesday we continue our study of Exodus with classes at 10:30 and 7:00.

On Saturday evening our spoken word service with Holy Communion begins at 6:00.

On Sunday morning we will offer worship at 8:00 and 10:30 with Sunday School at 9:15.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan

God of abundance, the weeks and months that await us are filled with purpose and potential. Encourage us to embrace the adventure and find joy in the living of our faith, even amid the busyness, stress, and challenges with which we may contend. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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