From Host to Guest

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

It is remarkable (and sad) how we as the church have reversed Jesus’ intentions and postures in the world.  The era of Christendom has seduced us in putting the church as center of attraction in our religion.  Some call it the if-we-build-it-they-will-come syndrome.  We think of the church as the host, and we lament the tendency that fewer people want to accept us as their hosts.  So we continue to seek strategies on how to be better hosts (more welcoming, better programs, more effective projects, more attractive events).  However, Luke 19:1-10 (this week’s Gospel text) tells a different story of how Jesus went about his ministry.  When He saw Zacchaeus in the fig tree, he did not invite him to be His guest, but requested him to be his guest.  That stunned the people, because they were muttering that he was gonna be the guest of a sinner.  But, of course, it should not be surprising.  God always meets people where they are.  In Luke 10 already we saw Jesus sending out his followers to find the houses of the village hospitable places where He intends to go because God’s presence and activity will be among them in the ordinary routines of their lives.  How can we as the church accept the world as a hospitable place where God is already busy doing incredible things?

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