Thank you to our Guest Blogger this month – Deacon Beth!
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Each week it seems I discover something new at Reformation. Lately it has been doors. Yes, doors. Some are visible while others appear to be hidden. Most, if not all lead to places of love and care.
Entry points abound within the architecture of our church. We have our main front entry doors. In addition there are two red doors leading to the worship space. There are the glass and wooden doors which bridge the Nave (worship space) to the Welcome Center. There are heavy metal doors at the East, South, and West sides of the building, some upstairs, and others downstairs. There are classroom, bathroom, and office doors. I’m sure you can even name more!
Diana Butler Bass an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture in her recent book, Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution (HarperOne, 2015) has written:
“A door is the place of coming and going, of safety and protection, and of welcome. . . . Doors keep out danger, but also usher guests and strangers into the sanctuary that is home. The doorway serves as a moral stage for the practice of hospitality, an architectural reminder of how we receive others into the inner places of our lives.” (Grounded, pp. 181–182)
For Bass the inner places includes our relationships with God, family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and how we intentionally welcome the stranger in our midst. Her well-written book prompts me to ask, “What does the door of our heart look like?
Each Sunday affords the opportunity to live ‘front door’ hospitality. Our ushers, greeters, and Welcome Center volunteers assist all. As we individually greet one another in worship, when we pass the peace before Holy Communion, or when we step out of our comfort zone intentionally talking to someone we do not know after worship, we practice ‘door ministry.’ In your unique way, you bring the love of God to the threshold through a handshake, a smile, a genuine act of welcome. God’s love is made known through your expressions of warmth, kindness, and genuine friendliness. To offer gestures of hospitality, to cross thresholds, to literally and figuratively open a door, and be a door, is to love.
You will hear me talk about doors and pray about Reformation doorways in the days to come. I seek to help you think about not only main front door entry points, those most obvious doors within the footprint here at the corner of Rose Tree Road and Route 252, but also our side doors and back doors, too. Doorways of invitation and care are waiting to be opened. Ponder with me what it means to share your gifts and talents in the church and in the world so as to assist another to enter Christ’s doorway of grace and mercy. Seek out those opportunities and places wherein a door can be opened.
Until the opportunity for direct conversation arises, I look forward to seeing you at a door!