Christian Hospitality is more than having a table fellowship with those who are like ourselves. It is meant to be loving, welcoming and including the strangers; those who have a different skin colour, faith or background into our community as we try to connect with them in Jesus. In fact, Jesus teaches and instructs us what it means to practice God’s welcome, His grace and love in the Gospels.
In today’s text, Pontius Pilate asks Jesus before sentencing him to death, “What is truth?” (John 18: 38) The truth is not an idea but a way of life. Jesus says, “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (John 18: 38). The truth of Jesus is “hospitality”, embracing all people with God’s love and grace, and because of this his hospitality is often directed to persons on the margins of society. Jesus practices a powerful and radical hospitality.
Whenever Christian hospitality is practised, church members gain a new insight of God’s inclusive love, overcome barriers and turn strangers into friends; church begins a ministry that meets the need of community, and unchurched friends are invited to small groups or/and church; relationship is to be built up; and the hurt is to be healed, the hopeless is to be encouraged, the divided is to be reconciled.
We, Christians, do practice hospitality intentionally and proactively because we realise that we ourselves, who were once “strangers to the covenants of promise”(Ephesians 2:12), have now been brought near to God in Christ Jesus, and as followers of Christ our job is to “welcome strangers into the heart of God’s transforming love.” Christ is our peace, who has demonstrated the reconciliation as “in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us”(2:14).
All Saints – in Cinemas 31st August. All Saints is based on the inspiring true story of salesman turned pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.
Special Congregational Meeting A Congregational Meeting is to be held after the morning service on Sunday 20th August. The meeting is to consider a proposal by Church Council to purchase new chairs with funds from a recent bequest made to the Church.
Mcfarland USA. In the tradition of Disney sports movies comes McFarland USA, based on the inspiring true story of underdogs triumphing over tremendous obstacles. This heart-warming drama follows novice runners who strive to build a cross-country team under Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner)in their predominantly Latino high school. Everyone has a lot to learn about each other, but when Coach realises the boys’ exceptional running ability, things change. Beyond their talent, it’s the power of family, commitment to each other and work ethic that transform them into champions – helping them achieve their own American dream.
The Butler. Inspired by true events, The Butler tells the story of chief White House butler Cecil Gaines who served eight American presidents over three decades, including Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan. Working intimately with these world leaders, from this unique vantage point, Cecil witnessed radical transformations in American history – from the civil rights movement to the war in Vietnam to the escalation of the Cold War – and how those changes affected his life and family.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Lugarno II Playgroup, who meet in Truscott Hall, are holding a BBQ stall at Kirrawee Bunnings on Saturday 12th August. Funds raised will help purchase new equipment, toys and other requirements. They are asking for volunteers from the church family to assist for a two-hour time slot on this day. Hours for the BBQ are from 7.30am to 5.15pm. If you are able to help, please fill in the time slot suitable to you on the roster sheet on the stewards table in the foyer. Thanks in advance, The Committee (Lauren, Merilee and Jo).
Missing Book. A couple of weeks ago a Bible study book on angels was left in the morning on the stewards table. It had a post it note on it with Elizabeth’s name on it. The book has gone missing. If you know where it is please contact Lawrie 0404 354 292.