In the history of Christianity, the first century followers of Jesus did something amazing and radical. Apart from feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, extending compassion to the dying, they went beyond by touching the untouchable, picking up unwanted and abandoned children from the streets of Rome and caring for them. A famous
Christian theologian in the second century, Tertullian, wrote, “What marks us (Christians) in the eyes of our enemies is the practice of loving kindness. ‘Only look,’ they say, ‘how they love one another.’”
Just 100 years after Jesus, Christians were already breaking out of the old structures of tribe, clan, and race to extend the love of Jesus Christ to all. To the citizens of Rome who despised and persecuted them, Tertullian wrote, “We are your brothers and sisters too” (Pagels, pp. 9–10). No one had ever said anything like that before: “We are one. We are, all of us, children of one God.”
In the next four weeks, I will be preaching on Radical Hospitality. I am of the belief that one of the signs of a vital Church is her hospitality. Hospitality doesn’t only entail how we welcome people but and mainly how we are of service to others. In my sermon series, I will be interviewing people in our church and in our borough. Lyn, from the Chubby’s project, for example turned a dying business to a vital restaurant in town with focus on the community. Jon, the owner of the Brick Farm restaurant transformed an old Chevrolet dealership into a vital restaurant in town with emphasis to the community as well.
Our own Paul B. is so involved in music ministry in the borough and Irene leads a team that caters towards those who need clothing.
My aim is to ask them why they do what they do and how that has been impacting our borough. Through the series, I will call on us as a church to intentionally and radically service others not only in the borough, but globally as well, and partnering with sister churches.
Christianity is about an alternative social vision. It is an alternative to the violence and suffering and poverty that characterize daily life; it’s a vision of kindness, compassion, gentleness, and peace. And our job as a church of Jesus Christ, is to keep that vision alive, clear and present in the world. Pls join us in person or in zoom in the next four weeks.
In His Name,