Matthew 25:35; Luke 2:7; Romans 12:9-18
I was a stranger and you welcomed me. - Matt 25:35
I want to start today’s post with a DARE. Because I’m a changemaker, a leap-of-faith taker, and I fully believe God created me to shake things up a bit (in a good way) :)
I DARE you....
To gather with people. Strangers.
Welcome them into your hearts. Your home.
Get to know them. Listen to their stories. Laugh with them.
Now, before you call me crazy (you probably already do) hear me out.
The Christmas season is already jam-packed with plays, concerts, shopping, traffic, social obligations, cooking, cleaning, preparing, wrapping - YEESH! My head’s already spinning just thinking about it.
When are we EVER going to find the time to do this crazy dare!?
Well, let’s pause for a minute. Think of the birth of Jesus - how there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:7).
How desperate + hopeless Mary must have felt. She was about to give birth. Can you even imagine that??? In labor, dilated, having contractions, and no room to spare at the inn.
That must have been a busy, hectic season for people to get so caught up in the little things that they couldn’t accommodate a family in need.
And yet, throughout OUR busy schedule, we actually walk with people every day who are knocking on our hearts, asking us to make room for them.
They may not be pregnant like Mary, but they sure are weary from their journey. Hungry for love. Desperate to be welcomed.
So, instead of attending yet another social obligation this Christmas season, what if we opened our hearts + homes and reached out to Mary, Jesus, and Joseph?
I KNOW it sounds crazy. You have to plan these things. Take time out of our schedules.
And to be completely honest, it sounds like a lot of work, and who really wants to interrupt their lives for something so inconvenient?
One thing the Holy Spirit has made known to me over and over again is — time is not an issue for God, nor is anything impossible for Him. In fact, the days I’ve felt completely overwhelmed with my mile-long to-do list, are the days it seems time has expanded.
Like that one time I didn’t have a single minute to catch my breath all day — running a hundred errands, cleaning, cooking, this and that — and yet… my to-do list was interrupted for a whole hour to talk with someone carrying a heavy burden.
I know it couldn’t have been anything else but God. God really wanted me to sit down with them that day. Forget my precious to-do list and open my heart to Him in disguise.
So. How can you open your heart and home to Mary, Jesus, and Joseph? How can you welcome them?
Here are some ideas —
- Get in touch with your professional association you belonged to in college, or the Catholic Student ministry and invite the international students.
- If you live near a military base, contact the chaplain and invite military families. Or hey, invite just the spouses.
- A luncheon at your house. A cookie exchange. Coffee and Jesus at Barnes & Noble.
- It doesn’t have to be fancy. God’s not asking you to throw an elegant banquet (although if you’re called to do so, go for it!).
He’s only asking us to make room.
To forget the to-do lists, the cleaning, the gift-wrapping and open our hearts + homes to the weary, brokenhearted, and rejected strangers. To welcome HIM.
Because at the end of our lives, when we stand before Him and He asks of us, “Did you feed me when I was hungry? Clothe me when I was naked? And welcome me in your home?” that hopefully we can confidently say, “YES!"
One last thing...
If you really want to open your heart to Mary, call a crisis pregnancy center and host a luncheon, coffee + cake, or donate baby items for their patients. Here’s a wonderful resource and a lot of these are Catholic organizations http://www.lifecall.org/cpc.html.
Peace be with you, my gorgeous faithful sister.
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