“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
~Matthew 10:40-42 (NRSV).
The principle of welcome is foisted here upon all creation. All are to bear witness to the light of the gospel truth: to give is better than to receive (Acts 20:35).
The ‘welcome mat’ is the practical gift of love, and the simplicity of friendship. It loves because is can. It loves because fear has been dealt with.
What and Who Are We ‘Welcoming?’
Just as we all do worship something(s) we are also welcoming something(s).
As people and situations come before us in life we have the very same opportunities as all humankind before us and those also to come after us. As we welcome the godly and the virtuous, making homes for them in our hearts and via our love-exacted deeds, prayers and well-wishes, we stir up reward at their stead.
But, when we side with favouritism, partiality and welcome the wrong things, situations and people we actually stir up heavenly dissension. As cause and effect goes, we can wonder very quickly what our ‘reward’ will be. It will not be good or as good.
Shoring Up the Welcome Mat
Now, even now, the Lord is giving us fresh opportunities to align and realign with his purposes. God is not the fan of the rich, famous and well-off as much as he’s the compassionate God of the lesser-off. The former are receiving their rewards as we speak. When we side with them, so it is that our reward will be like theirs.
Our opportunity is always to go against the tide, to break the default tradition of the world.
Because this is difficult we’re apt to produce the excuse.
Still, awareness is piqued and God is ushering his Spirit in and through us to risk offending the world so we can advocate the rights of the silent forlorn. But, in offending the world the right way, the Spirit of success is with us—all the way.
How are we shoring up our welcome mats?
By our daily deeds—in the tiniest of ways—we’re reinforcing or denying this reality. What we’re known for in this life we’ll be known for in the next.
A cup of cold water, anyone?
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.