Daily Word of Grace # 23 (April 16, 2020)
My favorite teacher from elementary school was my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Cole. She was the best. She taught us, laughed with us, and we could all tell she really loved us, really cared. She introduced me to the novels of J. R. R. Tolkien, which she read aloud to us every day. But the thing that I appreciated most about Mrs. Cole was how she personally welcomed each one of us every morning as we walked into the classroom. Without exception, every morning, regardless of the weather or how she was feeling that day or what she may have been going through, she personally welcomed each one of us with a big hug and an even bigger smile, “Good morning, Dave, so glad you’re here!” This reflects the welcome God gives all of us. We worship a welcoming God. We see this most clearly in Jesus Christ, “God incarnate, man divine.” Jesus spent his entire earthly ministry welcoming people were used to not being welcomed anywhere, welcoming people who were often overlooked, bypassed or altogether ignored. Although he was derided and dismissed for being “a friend of sinners” (Matthew 11:19), Jesus never stopped doing this, ever. In response to the warm welcome, the gracious welcome Jesus has always offered us, we are called to do the same, to be a Mrs. Cole for the people God has placed in our lives, especially those not used to being welcomed anywhere—“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7).
Love and Prayers,