Acts 16:9-15. In response to Paul’s vision, he and his companions go to Macedonia, where they preach to a group of women in Philippi. Lydia, from Thyatira (thus, a foreigner) is one of those who receive the Gospel message, and she immediately offers hospitality to Paul and his friends.
Psalm 67. An invitational psalm encouraging all the nations to praise God, to enjoy God’s mercy and receive God’s provision.
Revelation 21:10-14, 21.22-22:5. John’s vision of the New Jerusalem, where the gates are never closed, but no evil can enter. God’s security and hospitality are offered to the nations.
John 14:23-29. Jesus promises the gift of the Holy Spirit – God making God’s home within those who love God.
Rev. Tania writes,
God, may your written word that has become your spoken word, become your living word in us this day.
Last week the Lectionary challenged us to bring life to others through following Christ’s example of love.
This week, that love gets practical as the readings call us to embody God’s hospitality. If anything expresses the life that is unleashed through the Easter event, it is when we learn to see Christ in the stranger, and welcome them into our lives and hearts.
Taking last week’s vision of inclusivity even further, the Scriptures this week offer us a vision of hospitality as the model of God’s work in those who love God, and of the life which flows from it.
In Acts, Lydia, the new convert, immediately understands that a life of following Christ is a life of hospitality – and offers hospitality to Paul and friends.
In Psalm 67, all nations are invited into God’s mercy, security and provision – a vision of adoration for God’s hospitality.
In Revelation, the vision of the New Jerusalem is one of God’s hospitality offered to all nations, providing security, healing and food.
In the Gospel, the vision is beautifully reversed – God, by God’s Spirit, seek to enjoy the hospitality of the human heart, coming to indwell us, and then lead us into lives of obedient love.
May your worship be a home for you and for the strangers among you this week.
Blessings of New Life this Easter Season, Rev. Tania.