From the desktop of the Pastor – week of the 4th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

I want to thank everyone for their concern for my dad and my family.  Many of you have shown support and so many different ways and I want to express my gratitude for all the thoughtful gestures and well wishes.  I really appreciate how much our community cares and how I can depend on that care, knowing that I can lean on the strength of others and learn to care for myself as well.

Having said that, there is a lot of food going around in my family.

My mom has friends bringing entire pots of soup to the hospital (but no way of eating it).  My sister had a week’s worth of groceries and some cooked meals delivered to her home.  People are bringing us food left and right and I am so blown away by the generosity and love shown by it.  But I’ll be honest in saying that I’m starting to feel bad.

I mean, my dad isn’t dying (not from a stroke, at least, that I know of).  They say his condition is stable and might even go to the regular ward sooner rather than later.  He is in one of the best hospitals (so the internet tells me) to treat stroke patients.  And there is a Tim Horton’s right downstairs where we can refuel if needed.

When I saw and heard about all the food, i jokingly told my sister that it’s not like we’re stranded in the woods.  We will find food where we currently are.  But I can now that I was actually saying that out of my own discomfort in receiving hospitality.  In that, it is hard for me to accept kindness from others.  Even if it is a good friend or someone who really wants to do something for our family, I normally would just politely refuse, even if I really really really need whatever it is that they are offering.

So in this time of need that we are going through, I have to learn to accept the hospitality and kindness of others, because in my refusal of it, I may inadvertently be refusing their love as well.

The readings for next week are:
Jeremiah 28:5-9
Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18
Romans 6:12-23
Matthew 10:40-42

I see “welcome” as another way of saying hospitality.  And I see our welcoming others as a good and genuine thing to do, but at the same time we are called to welcome by receiving welcome from others as well.  I know, confusing sort of, but it makes sense if you think about it.  The whole Christian faith is really based on us recognising and accepting the welcome of God, through God’s grace, through the faith given to us, and through all the things that God gives and provides.  And believe me, I get that it can be hard at times.

It’s hard to rely on others.  It’s hard to say that we can’t get there on our own merit.  It’s hard for us to admit that we didn’t earn our way and can care for our own matters.

But then, by doing so we are allowing others the joy in being hospitable.  We are allowing the grace of God to shine through us by accepting welcome.  And we are allowing the love to flow in and around our communities, revealing just how connected we are to each other through the reliance and providence we give.

This is what the body of Christ looks like, where we all have our roles in giving and receiving, in welcoming and being welcomed, in providing for our needs and accepting that as an active gift of love.  So it is with joy that I can confidently declare that we are all part of this community, that we all have each other to look to in our times of need, and we have each other to care for when the going gets tough.

You’re welcome, everyone!  Have a great week!

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