Since it’s summer–aka wedding season–let’s start with a marriage story. When I got married it meant uniting not just Sarah and I, but also our families. As it usually goes, I knew Sarah well. I didn’t know her family as well. When we were first married, I got to know them best through their hospitality. They welcomed me with open arms; however, more importantly, I saw that they welcomed lots of people–new children, cousins, girlfriends and boyfriends of family members, church folks, and many other people without any family connections. I got to know the character of my new family by how they welcomed strangers.
Summer in a United Methodist church means we get to welcome a new pastor–Theresa Mason. Just as my in-laws didn’t pick me, we don’t pick our pastors in our tradition. But we do welcome them to serve in our midst as resident spiritual leaders. And this welcome is important. Theresa will get to know us by how we welcome her. However, I think Theresa will also get to know us–who we are as church people–by how she sees us showing hospitality to others, how we care for others, how we make space for others to grow and serve and learn and worship. May this be a season in which we individually examine how we personally make space in our lives and care for others.