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by the Rev. Willie Israel
July 24th, 2016

A Hearty Welcome

Not so long ago, a knock at the door often meant a visit from someone you were happy to see. A friend or neighbor might come by to invite the kids out to play or to share the latest gossip and a cup of coffee. It might be a relative who was visiting town and stopped by in time to be invited to supper. Generally, when someone knocked, we would at least check to see who the visitor was, and then decide whether to welcome the person into our home. Even in the middle of the night, we would assume that the person at the door would be someone we knew -- perhaps in need of our assistance.

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In recent years, however, our inclintaion toward welcome has been replacedby suspicion, fear, and a sense of not wanting to be bothered. The person who knocks at our door might be a salesman or a door-to-door evangelist or a potential burglar checking out our home. And so, unless we're already expecting someone, we are inclined to ignore the knocking and hope the person will go away. If you need immediate assistance, you are probably not going to knock at the door of a stranger, because you don't know what kind of welcome you will receive.

God knows that, for whatever reason, we are sometimes reluctant to seek help or trust in the relationship that assures divine hospitality. Jesus let us know, however, that when we reach out to God, there is no inhibition that hinders God's care and welcome for God's children. God already knows what we really need, and God is always ready to greet us with abundant blessings and a hearty welcome.