3/7/20 – “Cleaning Up Our Spiritual Rooms: Making the Living Room a Welcoming Place”

Posted on : Mar 4th, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

This Saturday we will observe our second “Sunday” in Lent.  We are worshiping on Saturday due to the LA Marathon on Sunday when Sunset Blvd. in front of the church will be blocked off due to the race.  We are continuing with our Lenten theme “Cleaning Up Our Spiritual Rooms” this week with our focus on The Living Room.  As a reminder we are looking at four spiritual rooms during this series:  Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom, and Bathroom.  As we reflect on these Spiritual Rooms, we start with the Living Room because it is the most public room in a house and probably the one room many of us keep the cleanest.  The living room as the name implies is the place in a house where we should do our living.  It’s the place where we entertain family and guests.  The question for this week is “Who are the guests we entertain?”  Are they only the people we know?  Would we be comfortable entertaining strangers in our house?  It also begs a larger question:  Are we as a people, a congregation, a nation willing to entertain the stranger in our midst?  This week’s scripture from Matthew’s Gospel is often referred to as the Judgment of the Nations.  It’s also known as the parable of the Sheep and the Goats.  The contrast here meaning that Sheep represent the righteous and Goats the wicked or unrighteous.  This parable comes in the gospel after several parables, The Talents, Bridesmaids, Unfaithful and Faithful Servants, which all stress waiting and preparing for the return of Jesus.  In the parable the sovereign separates the sheep (righteous) from the goats (unrighteous) and tells the righteous ones to come and inherit the realm of God.  The righteous ones are truly surprised when the sovereign tells them that they had cared for him when he was sick, hungry, thirsty, and a stranger and they question when was it they did these things.  The sovereign responds that they cared for him when they cared for the least of those among us.  The central message here is a call to provide hospitality and to provide for those we may not even know.  Since this week’s spiritual room is the living room which is the place of hospitality, we must ask ourselves how open we truly are to those in need.  Do we truly have compassion are we compassionate in name only?   We may want to keep our spiritual living rooms looking nice and tidy but we may not really want to use it to welcome others to the degree required to be truly effective.  Please join us this Saturday as we explore what it really means when we set about to clean up and organized our spiritual living rooms.

Blessings,

George

 

Matthew 25:31-40

I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”

 

 “When the Human One comes in glory, and all the angels, then the Human One will sit on the throne of glory.  All the nations will be gathered before the Human One, who will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and the Human One will put the sheep on the right and the goats at the left.  Then the sovereign will say to those on the right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my God, inherit the realm prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’  Then the righteous will answer, “when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?  And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’  And the sovereign will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

 

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