Song “I danced in the morning” https://youtu.be/fR2tkQJFEB8
Loving God in our constantly changing lives
Help us to learn new ways of being
And as we walk uncertain paths give us courage
And your presence with us
Prayer of confession beginning with silence
God of love and forgiveness
Save us by your tenderness
From each deed that is destructive
From careless thinking
From words that hurt
Save us by your love and forgiveness. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen
We say the Lords Prayer in our own language
Luke emphasizes that Christ came for everyone, all classes of society, all peoples. Samaritans despised by Jews, are welcome in Gods kingdom. Jesus has told the seventy disciples he has sent out, that proclaiming his message demands commitment. The lawyer has learnt that his love should be for everyone. Loving your neighbour. This is eternal life.
Jesus keeps crossing Jewish cultural boundaries. He is alone with women who are not his relatives. A woman serves him and he teaches a woman in her own house.
To sit at someone’s feet was symbolic of being his disciple. Mary is Jesus’ disciple. Martha, while devoted to her home, is distracted by her busyness. How many churches are distracted today by matters that are not important. Mary is listening to Jesus.
Many women have been conditioned by their culture to be great Marthas. A good host never sits down but hovers. Plates never go empty. Guests are continually asked if they need anything. The host may cook throughout the meal.
So when does the host eat? They miss the conversation, sharing of feelings and information, and give themselves totally to serving.
A different model is a host who sits, talks, laughs and eats with the guests. They remain at the table engaged in conversation. Hospitality is an art form.
Hospitality is at the centre of many of the stories in the biblical texts and especially in the gospels. Abraham and Sarah entertain strangers who appear suddenly during their afternoon nap. Mary and Martha entertain their friend Jesus (did he heal their brother Lazarus?!).
Hospitality is at the heart of the Last Supper, the eucharist. Unleavened bread and a cup of wine.
While eating and the drinking we share conversation. Maybe God and angels are present and they have a message for us?
Hospitality is a welcoming space for encounters with and between Gods people and God. God prepared manna and quail in the wilderness. We are creatures of comfort ruled by our bellies!
Households of faith practise hospitality. It’s a mark of their seriousness. They plan and expect visitors. They welcome strangers. They plan for strangers, for asylum seekers and refugees, for strangers.
Gospel hospitality does not allow people to starve. True welcome is more interested in the needs of the visitor than the preferences of the host. Entertaining angels unawares. Use that as a litmus test for how our communities, our countries, welcome asylum seekers and migrants. Amen
Song “O Lord all the world belongs to you” https://youtu.be/jJMaNZ84xsw
The blessing of God be upon you
The blessing of the Christ of Love
The blessing of the Spirit of Peace. Amen