Pastor Andy made a comment in his sermon that really stuck with me. He said that the most open door should be that of the church. Folks should feel welcome there, and we should offer love, acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption. Do we? Do we as the church do that?
I believe that the church has a few of those friendly accepting kind of people in each house, but I also feel that there are plenty of another kind that do not offer warmth to those that need it the most.
I can remember one church where folks were coming in and they were getting saved, but all of a sudden, things shut down. Some of those people had long hair and had been on drugs. Oh my! I thought that was what it was all about! Getting people saved!
Anybody needs to be able to feel accepted in any church because we all believe in and love Jesus, right? The way a person dresses should not matter, right? It is the condition of the heart, right?
Even I don’t feel welcome in some places! I can tell when I am not welcome, and if I can feel it, don’t you figure others can too?
What can you and I do to become the church where anyone is truly welcome? Well, it is a condition of the heart. We have to intentionally develop a heart like Jesus.
We have to give ourselves wholly over to someone else’s needs and to serve those that don’t know Jesus. We have to serve them wherever they are. We are to minister wherever we go.
You see, Jesus didn’t take time off when he was among the people. He was always thinking of others up until the time that He was arrested.
Jesus was not any better than anyone He met, and He did not separate Himself from the sinners. It was all about serving others and taking care of their needs.
He did not come and do Samson kind of things. He did not have to show off that He was strong. It was all about His love and compassion.
He looked at all folks the same way. In His eyes, we are equal. We are all alike in that we all need Jesus.
If we could all just get to where we were willing to lay down our stuff and put aside our differences, if we could see how we are all alike, then maybe, then we can reach others.
We are to have a servant’s heart. We are to serve our neighbors, our family, the destitute, the down-on-his-luck, and those without anything.
If we could just grasp what the love of God is all about, we could really make a difference in this world. We could lead others to Jesus, and it would be easy because it is all about love.
Jan Allbritton is a Diboll resident who teaches at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School.