I have been gathering in the homes of Old Bethel members all over the east side of Indy. The time sharing food and telling stories about journeys of faith has been sacred. I’m so thankful for all of you. One idea that has come up multiple times is the difference a great greeting has played in someone ultimately deepening their relationships with Jesus Christ. So many times the beginning of that journey boils down to the great greeting they were offered by another person.
Jesus followers have always been about greetings. Read any of Paul’s letters to the church, and you’ll read what seems like the lengthiest greetings ever offered. Historically, Christians were set apart by the way they greeted one another; they greeted one another with a holy kiss, as a sign of peace. I’m reminded of this tradition every time I come into contact with Pastor Saul and Mrs. Irma and any of those attending the Old Bethel Hispanic Ministries; I’m always greeted with a holy kiss and a warm embrace. In those moments, I feel ministered to. I am reminded of the warmth of Christ. I am also reminded of who I am to be in this world.
So many of us have lost the spiritual practice of greeting others well. Think a minute:
When you see colleagues at work, do you greet them first with warmth and kindness or do you immediately talk business?
When you write an email, do you write a greeting or do you launch into questions and information?
When you see family or friends at the end of the day, do you start with a warm greeting or do you begin with talk of schedules or tasks?
When you are out in the community do you offer warm greetings to others or are you focused on your own tasks?
Finally, when you are in the church building, do you look for and reach out to offer a warm and engaging welcome to those you don’t know?
I don’t know about you, but there are some opportunities on this list of which I have NOT been taking advantage. And if we do intentionally practice warmly greeting others more often, I imagine that once in a while, someone will sense the love and grace of Christ. Even more, perhaps it will be the beginning of a relationship with Christ. It can happen; I’ve heard you tell your faith stories that all began with a warm and hospitable greeting.
Community Life: What’s Happening at Old Bethel
Thank you to ALL who served the families from Interfaith Hospitality Network.
The Gathering begins September 9 and will run every Wednesday through November 18. Watch for more information!
We are beginning the sermon series Be Brave! We will discuss fear in our lives and ways to move through it. This is a great series to invite a friend who may find this series useful!
Summer Fare is a great church and community connection. Food and entertainment for all ages insure a welcome to everyone. Sign up to help such an important time of connection. We particularly need folks for set-up and tear down. You may sign up to serve in the lobby Sunday mornings or you may contact Mike or Janet Tucker at 467-4669 or 894-3672 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If you weren’t able to attend Pastor Matthew’s celebration of formal appointment to Old Bethel, I hope you’ll take time to write him an email or a note to honor and encourage his faithful leadership here.
Serving Christ Together,