1 Sep

Sometimes we need a change of scenery to help us see differently. After all, perspective is a point of view–the way we see things. Last weekend I had a deep desire to attend another church. Let me state loudly and clearly, I was not church shopping, nor was I sneaking around to see what other churches were doing in these Covid times. I simply wanted to worship in a corporate fashion, but in an anonymous way.

I chose a country church and I was welcomed from the parking lot, into the door, up to the sanctuary and after worship as well. I guess I felt anonymous, but the members of this little church spotted a visitor right away and helped me feel welcome on a morning when I had several things on my mind. They shook my hand, they reached out to sit near me and after church they invited me to visit again. The church had a small sanctuary and nearly every pew had someone sitting in it–families, friends and others all sitting near. Social distancing was not on their agenda. We sang familiar hymns collectively and masks were rather few and far between. I think I surprised one lady at the passing of the peace when I waved to her instead of reaching toward what may have been a hug coming my way. We joked about it later and she seemed gracious about the whole thing.

I learned from my colleagues in worship that day how to be outreaching in a good way. Sometimes visitors to a church feel swarmed or ambushed by too many welcoming moments from a room full of strangers and sometimes in a room full of strangers if no one speaks, it is easy to feel alone. The folks in this country church seemed to understand the science of hospitality. They were so kind to me.

I will be back at my own church this weekend. I will, however, open up my senses in case there are new folks around. I would like to treat visitors to my beloved church in the way I was treated last weekend–just enough of a HELLO and a balanced feeling of being WELCOME without being overwhelmed.

1 Peter 4:8-9 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Quotes On Hospitality HD Stock Images | Shutterstock

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