“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love.” John 15:9
It is easy to be a guest when you feel welcome. When the host has thought through what a guest might need or what will make their stay more comfortable, it creates a more relaxed visit. The preparation for a guest does take time, but you know it will be worth it. Yes, I know we are not opening our doors right now, but we can be preparing to do so during this time. For we know a day will come when we can welcome guests again.
I have been thinking about this idea of being welcoming lately. It is so close to being accepting, wouldn’t you agree? Conviction has also surfaced that I have not always been as welcoming or accepting as Christ has been with me. When something is annoying, I want to change that in a person. In fact, I will confess that I actually attempted this with one of my children here of late. I asked them to stop being a particular way and the response hurt my heart. They said, “But what if I am….”. My response was acceptance of them just the way they are right now. To be clear, we are not talking about sin here. To not tell the truth about sin, would be the most unloving thing I could do. Also, it is not my goal to be my child’s friend these days, but their parent and guide. Friendship will come when they are grown and I am getting a glimpse of this with our oldest.
As the days at home continue, might we take sometime to think about the kind of host we are to guests, our family who actually live with us and to Jesus. Are they getting our best? I see areas that need some attention in my own life. Places that my Father’s love is not as evident. If we are welcome in and to His love, should we not be the most loving, welcoming and accepting people on earth? How do we love people that are different than us or do not know the Father’s love? My prayer is that they will find us different; even attracted to what they sense when they are with us and want to know more. For when our home is found in Him, we reflect His love in a very inviting way.
May we be swamped with guests when gathering is allowed. May those who enter our homes find a family that loves well because we have worked on the unloving parts of us. May the cashier or waitress that is not kind, be shocked at the loving response they receive from us. You never know who might be looking for home. Perhaps we can be just the ones to welcome them.