So I was sitting at my favourite table in the coffee shop this morning, nestled right up against the big front window, head down, hat low, earphones on, working away on this Sunday’s sermon, when a shadow darkened the glass. I didn’t even have to look up; I knew who it was, or at least what kind of who it was––a vagrant, looking for handouts.
The thing is, I was right in the middle of something. Something important. Something for God. I didn’t have time to be bothered by whomever it was that had the poor social sense to be invading my space with his uninvited presence. So, I kept working. And the shadow moved on.
Then these words came to mind, that Brennan had mentioned in last Sunday’s service…
Welcome each other, as God in Christ has welcomed you.
And suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I saw everything differently. I saw Jesus pausing for a moment on the other side of that window, then moving on while I worked on my bloody sermon. Then these words rang in my mind…
“Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”
Well that pulled me out of my work. A few moments later my laptop was in its bag and I was out the door, worried that I’d already missed him––Jesus, that is. Thank God, I hadn’t.
But here’s a question for you: If I hadn’t had that passage from this past Sunday floating around in my head, would I have missed my opportunity? Chances are I would have, because it was exactly that passage that pulled me up out of myself and sensitized me to hear the voice of the Spirit.
More on the issue of sensitization this upcoming Sunday, but for now, I’ll leave you with this. As I drove away from that encounter with my Lord, a new picture came to mind: a picture in which I was the one standing on the outside of the window, looking in on a world full of warmth and good will. Were it not for the gospel, there I would still be, standing out in the cold, just an irritating shadow to the inhabitants within.
But thank God, that in his son, he has welcomed me in. And in the words of the Old Testament saints, “may the LORD do so to me and more also,” if I do not do the same for others.
So welcome each other, my fellow disciples, as God in Christ has welcomed you!
Pastor Daren Redekopp