This will be the “Back Page” of the bulletin for this coming Sunday,
January 27, 2019 (3rd Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C).
How does it feel to come home when you have been on vacation or away for several days? I would think that the Israelites in the OT reading for this Sunday would have been very happy. Because now, freed from the Babylonian captivity, they could begin rebuilding their community.
Rebuilding the community required everyone work together, each using their own skills and talents. This was the theme that Paul echoed in many of his letters. The new Christian communities were groups of individuals with multiple skills and talents united by their common belief in Jesus as their Savior.
But even from the beginning, when Christians met in the homes of believers, there have been some who said it wasn’t enough to just have a common belief; one must also have a common look. Today it seems as if anyone who is different because of their race, economic status, and/or gender is not welcome. It is as if the sign on the door reads, “We believe in Christ, but we don’t want them in our church, house or country.”
And if any of God’s children are not welcome, how can God be welcome?
In a little over a month, our denomination will decide who can call the United Methodist home. It will be a decision of both mind and heart; it will be a choice between the darkness of fear, ignorance and hatred and the light of God’s Grace and Love through Jesus Christ.
There are many seeking God’s home; can we offer them that sanctuary?