• Rev. Carrie Cesar

A Welcome Gift!

Faith is a welcome gift from us to God our Savior and Redeemer. We welcome God into our lives, and the gift we give becomes a gift returned to us many times over. This is the simple way faith works. Simple and yet profound in the same gift. As we lean into a life of welcome with God, we learn to protect the “pearls of great price” by living the welcome every day in the way we think, the way we speak, the way we feel and the way we act. Welcome is “Shalom”, the tried-and-true way our beliefs are recognized by God as our key to the Kingdom. We are charged with this welcome in the way we live, in the way we open ourselves to the strangers entering our world, our lives, our churches and our homes. To welcome a stranger into our sacred space is only possible through the faith in Christ that sets us free. When we are faithfully open to living God’s spirit of welcome in our daily lives, we are open and welcome to the spirit of God working in our lives in unexpected ways. Finding a pearl of great value is as simple as finding a way to help a family member flee violence and harm. To welcome them in safety and care for them, is to live in faith and bring justice into God’s kingdom. Our Savior was born to set people free. He was born into a world full of evil and powers of destruction, yet He came to free us from the evil that can trap us into believing freedom isn’t for everyone. The key to this freedom is a solid belief in living God’s welcome in your life. Just as Jesus lived a life of welcome to all people and allowed them to be empowered and set free, we too have opportunities to live that life He modeled for us. We first need to find, in our core, the peace of knowing welcome is in control. Jesus sent His disciples out in twos to find the people of peace who would be the foundation of His movement. Jesus’ movement is one that helps us live lives looking towards faithful freedom in God’s Kingdom. Not everyone has this peace in their core. Those that do, recognize others that do, too. The practice of knowing peace when you encounter it in someone, and knowing how to work together in releasing its power, is a matter of building faith in the body of Christ. Our Guest House ministry has this power, to release the captives and to set them free to live the life God meant them to live. It has the power to set us free to be the disciples and “people of peace” that God is so in need of, to lead His people now and always into the promised land. The Guest House ministry is a step towards the promised land and the freedom we all seek in the faith we live.

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