Sermon Notes Sunday, 9.1.2019

9-1-19               Sermon Notes                   "Be Bold! In Your Hospitality"
In the mid 1990's, my mother decided to sell our farm and move to "town," after having lived on that farm for over 30 years. It was a tough decision, but being a widow and out in the middle of nowhere was starting to feel unsafe for her. A couple with young children bought our farm, and Mom found a house she liked in Tuscumbia, Alabama (not far from Ivy Green - the birthplace of Helen Keller).

We got her all moved in, and Sunday rolled around, giving her a chance to do something she had not done in 30 years... go church "shopping." She decided to try out several churches and make her choice when she found one that felt like "home."
One Sunday she went to a church not far from her new house, and found a seat in the pews. After she had been sitting there only a short while, a woman came up to her and said, "You're going to have to move. You're sitting in my seat." Embarrassed, my mom moved to another pew. She was so taken aback by the lack of hospitality that she couldn't really pay attention to the music and the sermon.

The next Sunday morning, Mom got up and thought to herself, "Maybe that was just one rude person and maybe I shouldn't judge the whole church by that one encounter." So she went back to that same church, hoping to give them another chance. This time, she sat on a different side of the sanctuary, in a different pew. A man approached her, and she thought, "Great! Someone is going to welcome me!" But no... The man said to her, "You're going to need to move. You're sitting in my seat." Kid you not...

Needless to say, my mother didn't go back to that church! The story has a happy ending. She found a wonderful church family who welcomed her and showed her Bold Hospitality, and she has been happy ever since. She is very active in missions, UMW, visiting shut-ins...just about everything you can think of. She is blessed, and is a blessing to others...and it all started with hospitality.
It reminds me of an old saying I heard: "Some folks make you feel at home. Others make you wish you were."

What kind of Bold Hospitality are we supposed to offer? Our scripture for this Sunday lays it out for us:

 7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15: 7 NRSV)

Welcome others how? "Just as Christ has welcomed you!" Why? "For the glory of God!"

See you Sunday!
Pastor Sam
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