Matthew 10 : 40 - 42 New Revised Standard Version
40 "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
41-42 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."
This is the true hospitality that Jesus is inviting us to practice in this week’s text. Hospitality is the capacity to welcome the guest we would rather reject, deny, expel, marginalize, criminalize and unjustly accuse. It is a hospitality that welcomes the humanity of others and in turn, makes us more “human.” This invitation to a radical hospitality feels a lot like justice to me. I frequently find it disruptive that to extend relationship with someone who identifies with another group or belief system causes offense to those who ‘thought” they were in some exclusive relationship with us! When Church at the Park started partnering with the LDS Church several people who had partnered with us for years believed now they should not be in relationship with us. Our hospitality was extending, but some how this caused theirs to retract. When Church at the Park started being more clear about our commitment to welcome the LGBTQIA+ community with full acceptance, again those who have partnered in hospitality to the unsheltered found themselves buying into a narrative of exclusion and withdrawal. When Church at the Park accepted a gift of food for our staff to be honored as “Community Heroes” this week from Chick-Fil-A, community members actually said shame on us for extending relationship and accepting hospitality from them. To continue expanding the circle of human concern and creating a community where everyone belongs hospitality cannot be something open for “cancelation.” May we be emboldened this week to continue expanding the table of love and acceptance to those who need it most. -DJ Vincent
This clip is from the film Antwone Fisher (2002). In it, Antwone meets his estranged family for the first time as an adult. Can you imagine that this is the heaven-hospitality given to all estranged relationships?
Outward Mindset Application
Think about the primary person who benefits from the work you do. Consider how that person might be feeling about your work. Do something to improve their experience.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Activism (loving the world through confrontation): Is there an individual or an organization with whom you are frustrated? Write a letter outlining your concerns. Decide if you want to share that letter, connect in person, or keep the letter to yourself.
Questions for Reflection
Who have you seen in your life demonstrate the most radical forms of hospitality? If you could eat a meal with anyone from history, who would you choose?
One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00am. We would love to see you there!
The Open Table (@ The old DMV)
2640 N Portland Rd
Salem, OR 97301
“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.
Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.
Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.