Saturday, February 24, 2018

Radical Hospitality

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“So welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you, for God’s glory.” (Romans 15:7 CEB)

Why do people need Christ?” This question, states Adam Hamilton founding pastor of Church of the Resurrection (UMC), is the first of three questions that churches must answer if they are going to fulfill their mission to ”make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Hamilton responds to this question by highlighting Jesus’ primary role in the human condition:

“Now, here’s the conviction that I came to be seized by: Jesus Christ is the solution to the deepest longings of the human heart. He is the answer to the most serious problems that plague our society. When Jesus is Lord and the Holy Spirit enters the heart of the believer, we find the empty places filled, and the dark sides of our soul transformed. We are in the process of becoming “new creatures in Christ.” My personal experience is that a relationship with Jesus Christ changes everything in our lives; it makes all of life more rewarding, more joy-filled and more hopeful. (Adam Hamilton, Leading Beyond the Walls)”

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25 CEB). He gives us hope when we have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. When we are struggling with a relationship or marriage, we can find no other hope than in the one who changes hearts. The great problems in our world—racism, poverty, and war—at their core are all spiritual problems. These problems have to do with the human condition, which is broken in us, which can only be addressed by Jesus Christ. You must be absolutely convinced of this if you are going to reach people for Jesus Christ. (Adam Hamilton, Catch: Attracting and Connection Visitors)

We at First United Methodist Church are absolutely convinced that Jesus is the answer to the deepest longings of the human heart and are committed to practicing Radical Hospitality as a means of connecting people to Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 CEB). His words are both an invitation and a welcome to all who hear. He invites people to come to him and welcomes them by providing them a place to lay down their struggles and heavy loads. At First UMC, we are committed to following in Jesus’ footsteps by offering both an invitation and a welcome to our family, friends, neighbors, and community so that they too can experience the unconditional love and grace of God through Jesus Christ.