Scripture: Romans 15:7-13
Key verse: (7) Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Reflection: Welcome is one of those funny words that can be used in multiple ways. It can be a noun as in: “a warm welcome” or to “overstay your welcome.” It can be an adjective as in “a welcome relief.” It can be an interjection said to someone we greet: “Welcome!” It can be a verb as it is used here by the apostle Paul, when he instructs us to welcome one another just as Christ has welcomed us.
To welcome someone means we receive them with gladness. Perhaps there was welcome in your households over Thanksgiving, or will be over the upcoming Christmas holidays, when beloved family or friends visit. Those are the easy ones to welcome. Paul asks us to welcome people who are different from us, people we might not welcome without encouragement. In the letter to the Romans, he is talking to Jewish believers about opening the gospel message to Gentiles. It was a necessary word of encouragement; and because it was heard and embraced, the gospel spread beyond first century Palestine. Thanks be to God!
Where are you being asked to stretch to welcome others? Who needs receiving with gladness in your home, your schedule, your life, your worldview? May “welcome” become a noun for someone else, as you use it as a verb in your life, and share it as a sincere interjection to someone new.
Prayer: Lord, you have welcomed me into your family of faith. Help me to welcome others sincerely. In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].