I’m currently preaching a series on Robert Schnase’s book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. This week we’re on ‘Radical Hospitality’ and I’m using Luke 15:11-32 as our scriptural focus.
God rejoices at our presence here today
and welcomes us home with a celebration.
We come from different places bringing different needs
and God’s love accepts and provides for us all.
God, help us extend your extravagant welcome
and share the gift of true Christian hospitality.
God sends angel messengers to earth
to proclaim the good news:
God has not forgotten us, we are not alone,
God is coming to us in the form of a baby!
And the first to hear this incredible news
are people on the outside of polite society.
All of us have good news to share.
God, help us listen to each other despite our differences.
Today we begin the journey of Advent
and fears abound.
There is so much darkness and it is so cold.
How will God ever turn our world around?
We gather now to warm and strengthen ourselves for the journey ahead.
God, you see our human fears and love us anyway.
God, you hear our worries and call us to do your work anyway.
Help us hear the angelic message, “Do not be afraid!”