Us for Them- Week 6
Read aloud Romans 15:7 “Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” In some translations, “accept” reads as “welcome.” Share ways that you have been welcomed by God and by the church.
Jesus Identifies his church as those who welcome the vulnerable, the seeker, and the captive into Jesus’s redemptive family. Often churches resist practicing hospitality, especially to people unlike them, because hospitality is messy and invasive and requires sacrifice and discomfort. But a church that is not marked by hospitality has not identifying as God’s people.
A church that reflects God’s welcome reflects the Father’s heart. A church that values the interest of others over self-interest reflects Jesus’ Spirit. A church redeemed by Jesus wil reflect that redemption in their own welcome of others. This is not always a natural response but Jesus death and resurrection was designed to transform us as well as welcome us into His family.
- Who are the people you do not want to welcome?
- Who is easy to welcome?
Matthew 25: 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’…‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Read the Scripture out loud and then compile a list of the people who are the most vulnerable in our societies. These will be people without power and prestige who often struggle to get access to the necessities of life.
How do these verses make you feel? Ask someone to finish reading Matthew 25. Did that change how the passage settles? Can anyone share a time when they have followed these commands of Jesus? Have any of those times been welcome and service to people who were strangers or unlike them? As a group how can you welcome the vulnerable people of our town and our church?
Close in prayer, asking for God to cultivate a heart of welcome in your group and in the church. Pray for clarity for how you can move together on a mission of welcome.