Kia ora All Saints Whānau
As most of you know, during Lent we have been participating in the Diocesan Lenten Study and listening each week to Bishop Justin and various speakers from the Lambeth Conference which Bishops Ellie and Justin attended last year. Lambeth is a conference of the global Anglican Church where we have the opportunity to hear the voices of fellow Jesus followers from all over the world.
This past week the theme of the video and study was hospitality. I hope that you all have had a chance to watch the video and have some discussion with others in our community about the content. I know our house church found it very interesting and a really great conversation followed.
In the video we heard people from all over the world talking about what hospitality means in their culture. It was fascinating. Some people talked about inviting people into their home, some discussed opening their lives to others. Some described hospitality as loving others as Jesus would and one person even talked about how in the Bedouin culture hospitality means to protect the other.
What followed in our house church was an exciting and practical conversation about how we as a church family can show hospitality. The conversation went way past having people over for dinner, and included a fair amount of vulnerability about what we all struggle with when it comes to hospitality. Where we ended was in an exciting pact to begin to open ourselves up to the people in our individual circles of connection that God might be putting before us to love and love well. We agreed that together we would be intentional about asking God who those people are and then commit to prayer and accountability within our house church to ensure that we respond to God’s prompting to show radical hospitality to those people.
At the end of the video Bishop Justin said that he thinks a path to renewal in the church in New Zealand is for each of us to take seriously the challenge to show hospitality to people frequently and regularly. It got me thinking about how powerful it would be to test that out here at All Saints. Imagine the God conversations we would all be having if we chose to regularly dig deep with those around us who don’t know God. Let’s keep challenging one another in this area and continue to pray for renewal around us.