Whenever I say these words and whenever I hear these words I get this big smile. It’s the kind of smile I call smiling-out-loud. Think about it for a minute. Can you say the words welcome home without smiling? Can you hear the words welcome home without smiling? When you say these words – and when you hear these words – who are you picturing in your mind?
When I say or hear the words “welcome home” I also ask myself these questions: What is the welcome I want? And… what is the welcome I need?
Some of the answers I come up with go like this:
I want to be welcomed just as I am today. I want to be welcomed as a person of worth and value who is a beloved child of God. I want to be welcomed in the fullness of the joys in my life and I want to be welcomed in the emptiness of the pain in my life. I want to be welcomed for what I have to offer the world and for what I could never offer the world. I want to be welcomed because I am me and I want to be welcomed because I care about you.
What do you think of my answers?
Well, this Sunday, September 9th is Welcome Home Sunday at our beloved church. This is our special chance to receive the welcome we all want and to give the welcome we all need. The morning starts at 9 am with Adult Forum, Bible Workbench and childcare for our children. It continues with 10:30am worship and Sunday School for children and youth. It concludes with a picnic lunch on our patio and lawn complete with a Q’doba taco bar and a bouncy castle. How wonderful is all that?
The morning offers a chance to celebrate our life-together and to expand the circle of our caring to all who are with us this Sunday.
We are bound together through our beloved church. We are bound together by our journey in faith, by our genuine care for others, and by our compassion and commitment to make this world a life-affirming place. We are bound together as we worship God and as we invite God’s presence to come alive in our own lives. We are bound together as we seek to welcome other people into our community. We are bound together as we create ever expanding outreach that brings God’s love to all. We are bound together as we love God best by loving others and as we are witness to the reality that God’s love comes alive in powerful ways when we bring justice to our world.
I’ll see you Sunday. Until then please keep our beloved church in your prayers. I remember you in mine.
Again, welcome home!