A Pastor's Perspective 03-05-2024

 Some of my favorite memories growing up happened in any one of my aunts’ homes. I have a distinct memory of being in my Aunt Joy’s house close to Christmas. I was standing in her kitchen, looking out into her family room. It was beautiful – full of life, loud with family, warm with the old incandescent Christmas lights.
   Aunt Joy is also a wonderful hostess, which meant that all of our needs were met – no one had to ask for a drink refill, everyone had plenty to eat, and her house was prepared for us. While I’m absolutely positive that her home was decorated beautifully, what I most remember about her home was the feeling I got when I was there. I felt loved, included and taken care of.
   I’m reading through Leviticus following a Year in the Bible Plan (highly recommend!) and stopped at this passage the other day. God is giving Moses the law, or the guidebook for how He wants life to be when they get to the Promised Land. God, always concerned with the outsider, gave Moses this command, “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God” (Lev 19:33-34).
   Wow! God wants us to treat an “outsider” like an “insider”, remembering that we were once “outsiders”.   As always, the Lord is after our hearts – He wants us, His people, to be hospitable. He wants us to be hospitable at the grocery store, in our neighborhoods, at our jobs. He wants us to take the feeling that I had at my Aunt Joy’s house, and make that happen everywhere.
   This means that here at Snyder, true hospitality is not just a Welcome Team's responsibility – it’s something that is charged to every believer in Jesus. While our team is growing (YAY!), the Welcome Team will never be big enough to carry out the responsibility of genuine, biblical hospitality. Every person who calls Snyder their home gets to carry out this responsibility.
   Here are some practical tips for showing hospitality while at church:
1.    Talk to someone you don’t know well.
2.    If someone looks lost, ask them if you can help them find their destination.
3.    Invite someone you don’t know well to sit with you at Wednesday Night Dinner.
   These small things make a HUGE impact. May God give us the grace to respond to His welcome by welcoming others.
Jen Rabon
Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor