Monday, January 21, 2013

strange love

Do you love strangers?

If not, you are not qualified to be an overseer, pastor, elder, connection/small group leader, or shepherd of God's people.

The word "hospitable" used by Paul in both 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 when listing off the qualifications of the men who were to lead God's people is a word created from the combination of two words: love and stranger.

Hospitality is not simply having people over. 
It's having a particular type of person over.
Persons who are outside the faith, outcast, strangers, foreigners, sojourners, enemies of God, etc...

If we do not care about people who are outside, it is a reflection of our deficiency to understand that we too once were the outsider, stranger, and outcast prior to our reconciliation with God in Christ.

The Gospel is anchored in the idea that Love came after us even though we didn't belong.
We did not have the resume to be accepted. 
We did not know the password that we should get in. 
We did not know the right person that the velvet rope should have been opened to us. 
We forgot the PIN. 
We lacked the credentials. 
We were shut out. 

But Love invited us to eat at a strange table.

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