This week we have been exploring the liberating, serving authority of Christ.
As we begin now to prepare for the Sunday coming, we are invited to see
how far that loving, gracious service goes, as Christ meets both individuals
and whole communities at their point of need. The apostle Paul gave a
challenge to the Galatian Church who had begun following Christ in the
ways of faith and loving service but had then begun to allow themselves to
be led back into a life of law and judgement. But even though they had
begun to question Paul’s integrity and his ministry, he remained committed
to them, writing a loving, but strong, call for them to return to the freedom
of faith in Christ and serving one another in love.
It is all too easy to allow our faith to become a religion of law and
judgement, denouncing those who don’t live up to our standards, and
closing ourselves off from the world. But we serve a God who went out of
God’s way to love and serve us—becoming as one of us, in spite of the
cost, to save us. Paul embodies this grace and love in his own ministry as
he writes to a church that includes some of his opponents, inviting them
back into the freedom of true, Christ-following faith.
One of the best metaphors for the way God loves and serves us is the
image of a host/ess. As God welcomes us to God’s table, so God serves us
and watches over us, ensuring that we are well cared for. Today, why not
embrace the practice of “host/essing”—welcoming others, serving them
and caring for their well-being?
Empower me, Dear Christ, to truly and graciously welcome and serve
others in your name.