The Unwelcome Welcomer
"The unwelcome have become welcomers
in the house of their God.” - Strahan Coleman, Prayer Vol. 2
"God has a way of making city planners out of exiles. When prodigals become elders they share more wisely, lead with more humility and judge with greater compassion. When the unwelcomed are given the invitation to share, they tend to give more freely and with less care for differences because they know what it’s like to be isolated and alone, to be considered the ‘other.’ Even more powerfully, they know what it’s like to find God in that place. It’s easy to build up walls – we've been doing that for long enough now, haven’t we? It’s much harder to tear them down. But once you’ve lived in the wilderness, at the mercy of boundless places, you realize that walls are just the imagination bowing to fear – another way to pretend that we all own something of this world that makes us different. When you’ve been unwelcome long enough, you can discover the far deeper joy of homecoming – and that makes you a special kind of host. Our exile makes us tender – and exactly the kind of city planners God is looking for in the new frontier of His kind and loving kingdom." (excerpt from Prayer Vol. 2)
I share this with you because this is the beautiful message of Advent. The Christmas story is one of God, unwelcome by His own, still coming to welcome us – the exiles, the outsiders, the know-it-alls, the worriers, the secret sinners, the tired students, the doubting parents, the warriors, the skeptics, the forgotten and lonely, the royalty and the poverty stricken – home. May you find in advent the welcome of Christ, and may the world find His welcome through you. - Jason Simon, Minister to Students
"He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:3-5
"... for "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:13-15